Coordinator, Government Relations Certificate program

Dr. Tim LaPira is an associate professor of political science at James Madison University, where he has taught since 2010. He previously taught at College of Charleston and American University. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University in 2008. He also worked as a legislative assistant to a member of Congress and as a researcher for the Center for Responsive Politics, where he was responsible for creating the Lobbying and Revolving Door databases on

His academic expertise is on Congress, interest groups, lobbying, and the so-called revolving door between government and Washington's lobbying profession. His research includes publications on how government agendas affect interest group behavior and lobbying strategies, how lobbying transparency is flawed, how the distribution of lobbying resources is extremely unequal, and how the revolving door distorts the representation of interests before government. His research has been funded by The National Science Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, the American Political Science Association, and the Dirksen Congressional Center. He teaches courses on American politics, Congress and legislative behavior, the Presidency and executive power, and interest groups and lobbying.

His book, Revolving Door Lobbying: Public Service, Private Interest, and the Unequal Representation of Interests (co-authored with Herschel F. Thomas, University of Texas at Arlington), was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2017. The book reports on original data on more than 1,600 lobbyists’ professional biographies, which we link to data from more than 50,000 lobbying disclosure reports. The book is the first to shed light on how common it is for people to move from government service to private sector lobbying, who does so, and why it matters for interest representation and legislative influence.

His works in progress may be found at

OFFICE: 2155 Miller Hall
PHONE: (540) 568-5309
FAX: (540) 568-8021

Department of Political Science
James Madison University
91 E Grace St., MSC 7705
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

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