The University of Massachusetts Amherst

John Hird

headshot of John Hird
Professor of Public Policy


708 Thompson Hall

Hird was the founding director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration (now the School of Public Policy) and the master’s program in public policy and administration from 1998 to 2006. He served as dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 2014 until 2021. He was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1987-89 and an economist with the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1988-89.

His research focuses on the use of expertise in public policymaking. Hird is the author of Superfund: The Political Economy of Environmental Risk; Power, Knowledge, and Politics: Policy Analysis in the States; and Controversies in American Public Policy and the coauthors of Controversies in Globalization. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Policy Studies Journal, Yale Journal on Regulation, Social Science Quarterly, Regulation & Governance, and other professional journals.

Hird’s current projects include a forthcoming book with the University of California Press on the use of policy analysis in public policymaking and an edited international volume on policy analysis. He is also working on a National Science Foundation-funded project with UMass Amherst political scientist Bruce Desmarais on the use of science and other forms of evidence in regulatory policymaking.

He has a PhD in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Research interests: 

policy expertise and advising, the use of information in policymaking, policy analysis, policy entrepreneurs