Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

About Me

Kevin R. Kosar, Ph.D., is the vice president of policy at the R Street Institute, a Washington, DC think-tank.

Between 2003 and 2014, Kosar served as an analyst and research manager at the Library of Congress‘s Congressional Research Service.

He is the author of Ronald Reagan and Education PolicyFailing Grades: The Federal Politics of EducationWhiskey: A Global History, and Moonshine: A Global History. He has testified before Congress, and published on a variety of governance and public policy subjects: education policy, quasi governmental entities, privatization, the Postal Service, government communications, and propaganda.

Kosar’s writings have appeared in scholarly and professional journals, such as National AffairsPresidential Studies Quarterly, Public Administration Review, Public Administration Times, and Teachers College Record; and in popular media, including  the American SpectatorChicago Sun-Times, Cleveland Plain DealerDaily Caller, The Hill, History New Network, National ReviewNewsweekNew York TimesPhiladelphia Inquirer, Politico, Roll Call, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Examiner, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and Washington Monthly.


  • Food/Drink Inquiries: alcoholreviews [at]
  • All other inquiries: kevinrkosar [at]
  • Voice mail: 916-Kev-inKo

Scholarly Affiliations and Activities

Cosmos Club, 2011-2016
Public Administration Review, Contributing Editor, 2009-2011
Politique Americaine, Peer Reviewer, 2009
Smithsonian National Postal Museum, National Advisory Council, 2008-2011
Journal of School Choice, Editorial Board, 2007-present
The American Review of Public Administration, Peer Reviewer, 2007-present
Public Administration Review, Book Reviewer/Interviewer, 2006-present
Choice, Book Reviewer, 2004-2009
Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Analyst, 2003-2014
Teachers College Record, Peer Reviewer/Book Reviewer, 2003-2008
Metro Matters: A Newsletter on Metropolitan Politics and Policy, Editor, 2003-2004
The Texas Education Review, Editorial Board, 2000-2002

Awards and Honors

Presidential Management Fellow, 2003-2005
Judge, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2003
Academy of Wine Communications’ wine writer award, 2001-2002
Lynde and Harry Bradley Fellow in Public Policy, New York University, 1997-1998
University Fellow, New York University, 1995-1996
University Fellow, New York University, 1994-1995
Lynde and Harry Bradley Fellow in American Politics, New York University, 1993-1994


BA, political science, Ohio State University, 1993
MA, politics, New York University, 1995
Ph.D., politics, New York University, 2003

Kevin R. Kosar was born in Akron, Ohio in 1970.  He attended public schools in nearby Silver Lake and Cuyahoga Falls.  After graduating high school, he enrolled at Kent State University for two years, then transferred to the Ohio State University, where he earned his BA from the Honors College, specializing in political philosophy, U.S. constitutional history, and economics.

In 1993, he moved to New York City to attend New York University, receiving University and Lynde and Henry Bradley Foundation fellowships.  In 1995, he earned his MA in political philosophy from the Department of Politics.   From 1996 through 1997, Kosar worked as a program associate at Chess-In-the-Schools, a New York City not-for-profit corporation that helps children in some of New York City’s lowest performing schools.

He then returned to New York University to undertake doctoral studies in political philosophy, U.S. politics, and international relations.  While researching his dissertation, Kosar worked for New York Press newspaper, lectured at the New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and conducted research for the Manhattan Institute and the Hudson Institute.  In 1998, he founded Bully Magazine with Ken Wohlrob, and then created his beverage website,

In August of 2002, Kosar was hired to serve as a special assistant to the president of Metropolitan College of New York and lectured in its School for Public Affairs and Administration.  There he edited Bridging the Gap: Higher Education and Career-Centered Welfare Reform (National Urban League/Metropolitan College of New York, 2003).  He completed his dissertation on federal education policy and politics in May of 2003.

Accepted into the Presidential Management Fellows Program, Kosar moved to Washington, D.C. to work as a researcher at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress (2003-2014).  While in Washington, he has served as a peer-reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching American History Grant Program and Presidential Academies for American History and Civics programs. He also has testified before Congress.

In August 2005, his scholarly book, Failing Grades: The Federal Politics of Education Standards (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2005), was published. He followed it with his first trade press book, Whiskey: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2010).

Kosar became the Director of the Governance Project and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, a Washington, DC think-tank in October 2014.