Brian L. Fife

Professor and Chair
Director of Graduate Studies
Director of the Washington Semester Program
Maginnes Hall, Room 318
Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1990

Brian Fife is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Lehigh University. He is also the director of graduate studies for the department’s master of arts and master of public policy programs and the director of the Washington Semester Program. He joined the department in 2018 after serving as chair of the Department of Public Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (now Purdue University Fort Wayne). He earned a doctorate and a master’s degree in political science at the State University of New York at Binghamton and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maine. His research focuses on education policy, electoral reform, and the challenges of poverty in America.

Professor Fife has published 8 books as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and instructional textbooks. His research books include the following: Citizenship in the American Republic (2021); Winning the War on Poverty: Applying the Lessons of History to the Present (2018); Old School Still Matters: Lessons from History to Reform Public Education in America (2013); Reforming the Electoral Process in America: Toward More Democracy in the 21st Century (2010); Political Culture and Voting Systems in the United States: An Examination of the 2000 Presidential Election (2002); Higher Education in Transition: The Challenges of the New Millennium (2000); School Desegregation in the Twenty-First Century: The Focus Must Change (1997); and Desegregation in American Schools: Comparative Intervention Strategies (1992).

More information about his latest book, Citizenship in the American Republic, published by the University of Michigan Press, is available at: A recent article about Asa Packer, the founder of Lehigh University, was published in the American Educational History Journal and is available at: Another article on civic education was published in Education Reform Journal and is available at:

He has taught a wide variety of courses in American politics and public policy. He is married to Melissa and they have two grown children, Sam and Jack, and a daughter-in-law, Rachel.