Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Missouri
Executive politics, bureaucratic politics, separation of powers
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

Jennifer L. Selin is a Kinder Institute Assistant Professor of Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. Her research explores how the federal bureaucracy functions in the American separation of powers system. When unelected administrators implement policies under delegated authority, there is a legal assumption that these administrators are responsive to direction from elected officials like the President or members of Congress. But how effective are elected principals in controlling the bureaucracy? By approaching the problem of political control from the perspective of federal administrators, Selin’s research illustrates that the legal structure of an executive agency’s decision-making environment has important implications for political influence.

Jennifer Selin’s scholarship has been published in political science, public administration, and law journals. A proud graduate of Lebanon Valley College, Selin holds a J.D. from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining academia, she practiced administrative law and specialized in federal electricity market regulation and alternative energy development, licensing, and regulation.

Recent Publications

“Don’t Sweat the Details!: Enhancing Congressional Committee Capacity Through The Use of Detailees”  (with Russell W. Mills), Legislative Studies Quarterly (2017).  Available at:

“Understanding Employee Turnover in the Public Sector: Insights from Research on Teacher Mobility.” (with Jason A. Grissom and Samantha L. Viano), Public Administration Review 76(2):241-251 (2016).  Available at:

“What Makes an Agency Independent?” American Journal of Political Science 59(4):971-987 (2015).  Available at:

“Political Control and the Forms of Agency Independence.”  (With David E. Lewis), George Washington Law Review 83(4/5):1487-1516 (2015).  Available at:

“Influencing the Bureaucracy: The Irony of Congressional Oversight.”  (With Joshua D. Clinton and David E. Lewis), American Journal of Political Science 58(2):387-401 (2014).  Available at:

Sourcebook of United States Executive Agencies. (with David E. Lewis), Washington, DC: Administrative Conference of the United States (2012).  Available at:

“The House as a Stepping Stone to the Senate: Why Do So Few African-American House Members Run?” (With Gbemende Johnson and Bruce I. Oppenheimer), American Journal of Political Science 56(2):387-399 (2012).  Available at:


Media Coverage

“Congressional committee staffs have shrunk.  Here’s one way Congress makes up the difference.”  (with Russell W. Mills), Monkey Cage, Washington Post (June 14, 2017).  Available at:

Country Focus

Research Areas

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