Herschel Thomas

A photo of Herschel "Trey" Thomas, Associate Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.

Associate Professor of Public Affairs

Ph.D. in Government, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015
M.A. in Government, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011
M.A. in Political Science, Pennsylvania State University, 2009
B.A. in Political Science & B.Phil. in Information Studies, Pennsylvania State University, 2009
Teaching Areas:
Policy Development
Politics of Bureaucracy
Policy Adoption

Herschel Thomas is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. At the LBJ School, his areas of focus include policy development, politics of bureaucracy, and legislative processes associated with policy adoption. 

Thomas completed a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 and was an Associate Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University. Before his time in Morgantown, Thomas was an Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2015-2020. 

His research focuses on American national institutions and policy processes, with an emphasis on the role of civil society in shaping public policy decision-making and outcomes. His work is published in journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Policy Studies Journal, Political Research Quarterly, Public Administration, and Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, among others. 

Thomas’ ongoing research on non-governmental actors and disaster response has been funded by two National Science Foundation RAPID grants and focuses on the impacts of and response to compounding extreme events (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic and winter storm Uri in Texas). With implications for disaster governance nationally, this work examines non-governmental capacity, public accountability, and service provision.

Following his co-authored book, Revolving Door Lobbying (2017, University Press of Kansas) and related articles, Thomas studies how the employment of lobbyists with previous government experience conditions the success of organized interests in federal rulemaking proceedings.

Thomas is a former manager and faculty affiliate of the Policy Agendas Project at UT-Austin. His teaching interests span policy development, the policy process, bureaucratic politics, disaster policy, organized interests and policy advocacy, and research design.

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