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American Presidency Today Faculty Biographies


Thomas Davis III '71 is a director in Deloitte LLP’s Federal Government Services Group where he advises clients on major trends, opportunities and challenges facing the federal government, with a focus on technology innovation and government transformation.  Tom  represented Virginia's 11th Congressional District from 1994 to 2008. He earned national recognition as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2000 and 2002, when he was instrumental in maintaining his party’s majority in the House of Representatives. He was a leader on promoting the President’s Management Agenda and maximizing the performance of government agencies.  Tom has also served as a co-chair of the Information Technology Working Group, which promotes a better understanding among members of Congress of important issues in the computer and technology industries. After the 2002 election, he was named chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, chairing hearings on the use of performance enhancing substances in professional sports.  Other notable accomplishments include his report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; his sponsorship of legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco; and passage of the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act, which authorizes much needed capital reinvestment in the Washington Metro system.

He received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1975. Prior to his election to Congress  he served on the Fairfax, Virginia Board of Supervisors for 15 years, including three as chairman, when Fairfax was recognized as the nation’s best financially managed county.  


Tom Dumm is the William H. Hastie '25 Professor of Political Ethics in the Department of Political Science at Amherst College. He received his masters  in political science from Penn State and his Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. Since he came to Amherst in 1985 he has taught courses in American politics and political theory, most recently with a focus on contemporary political theory and American political thought. In 2001 he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Among other publications he is the author of A Politics of the Ordinary (NYU Press 1999); Michael Foucault and the Politics of Freedom (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.; 2002) and Loneliness As a Way of Life (Harvard University Press; 2008).


N. Gordon Levin is the Dwight Morrow Professor of History at Amherst College.  He received his Ph.D. in the history of American civilization from Harvard in 1967.  Since 1964 he has been teaching courses in American Studies, Diplomatic History, National Identity and Israeli History at Amherst.  He is the author of Woodrow Wilson and World Politics (New York, Oxford University Press, 1968) and is currently at work on a study of the relationship between the United States and the Israeli settlement project since 1967.



Pavel Machala is professor of political science at Amherst College. He received a masters in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University. His academic interests includes diplomatic history, American foreign policy, world politics, international relations and Marxist social theory. He is currently working on a three-volume project dealing with Karl Marx’s insight into nineteenth century international economic and diplomatic relations, an anthology of Marx’s writings on war and globalization and a selection of contemporary Marxist essays on the present character of world politics.



William (Bill) C. Taubman is the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College.  He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1969.  Among his many publications, Taubman is the author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W.W. Norton, March 2003), which has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Latvian, Chinese, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Estonian, Swedish; Co-editor (with Sergei Khrushchev and Abbott Gleason), Nikita Khrushchev (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000); and editor and translator, Khrushchev on Khrushchev, by Sergei N. Khrushchev (Boston: Little, Brown, 1990).