Menu Close

James Pfiffner

University Professor



3351 Fairfax Dr., MS 3B1
Arlington, Virginia 22201


Fax: 703-993-2284



James P. Pfiffner is University Professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.  His major areas of expertise are the U.S. Presidency, American National Government, the national security policymaking process, and public management.

His professional experience includes service in the Director’s Office of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (1980-81), and he has been a member of the faculty at the University of California, Riverside and California State University, Fullerton.  In 2007 he was S.T. Lee Professorial fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of London.  In the summer of 2013 he was Visiting Professor at the Center for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

He has written or edited sixteen books on the presidency and American National Government, including The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running and Power Play: The Bush Administration and the Constitution. He has also published more than 100 scholarly articles and chapters in books.

He received the Distinguished Faculty Award at George Mason University in 1990 and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Scholarship in 1999.  While serving with the 25th Infantry Division (1/8 Artillery) in 1970 he received the Army Commendation Medal for Valor in Vietnam and Cambodia. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

Areas of Research

  • Presidency and Executive Branch
  • Public Administration
  • Public Management
  • National Security Policy Process
  • White House – Cabinet Relations
  • Political Appointee – Civil Service Relations