Kevin R. Kosar, Ph.D., is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington, DC think-tank, where he studies the US Congress, congressional oversight, the administrative state, American politics, and the US Postal Service.

Previously, he was the vice president of research partnerships at the R Street Institute. He co-founded the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group, which aims to strengthen Congress, and established, an online hub for congressional reform and scholarship.

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

He is the co-editor of Congress Overwhelmed: Congressional Capacity and Prospects for Reform (University of Chicago Press), co-author of Unleashing Opportunity: Policy Reforms for an Accountable Administrative State (National Affairs, 2017); and 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, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner, Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, and Washington Monthly.

He received his Ph.D in politics from New York University and lives in Washington, DC.


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



  • 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

Recent grants

  • Hewlett Foundation, $1,500,000 (2020-2022)
  • Charles Koch Institute, $77,800 (2020)
  • Secure Democracy, $100,000 (2020)
  • Democracy Fund, $1,150,000 (2019-2021)
  • Charles Koch Institute $23,500 (2019)

Long Biography

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.

Kosar became the Director of the Governance Project and Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute, a Washington, DC think-tank in October 2014, and was promoted to Vice President of Policy in April 2017. In 2019 the Institute appointed Kevin to be President of Research Partnerships.

He became a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in September 2020.