James K. Conant

Photo of James K. Conant
Titles and Organizations

Professor Emeritus of Policy and Government

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-1416
Mason Square, Van Metre Hall, Room 631
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
MSN: 3B1


James K. Conant is Professor Emeritus of Policy and Government at George Mason University. His research and publications are focused on public budgeting and financial management, executive branch organization and management, homeland security, and environmental policy and management.

His work has been published in Public Administration Review, Public Budgeting and Finance, Municipal Finance Journal, Review of Public Personnel Administration, The International Journal of Public Administration, State and Local Government Review, Journal of Environmental Practice, and other journals and edited books. He is coeditor of Dollars and Sense: Policy Choices and the Wisconsin Budget (1991), the author of Wisconsin Politics and Government: America’s Laboratory of Democracy (2006), and the lead author of the Life Cycles of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency: 1970–2035 (2016). Conant has contributed original research to two national commissions on the public service (Volker Commission; Winter Commission), and he has served as a consultant to a variety of organizations in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors, including environmental protection, transportation, education, human services, and homeland security organizations.

Conant has been a member of the faculty at Mason since 1996. At Mason, he has served as associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and as MPA director. Before joining the faculty at Mason, he served on the faculties at Rutgers University, New York University, and the University of Oklahoma, and as a Visiting Professor at the LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He received his PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Areas of Research:

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Protection
  • Executive Branch Organization and Management
  • Federalism/State and Local Government
  • Leadership
  • Organizations
  • Public Administration
  • Public Budgeting
  • Public Law
  • Homeland Security