Jenna Bednar


Political Science, LSA

Professor of Political Science, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

Jenna Bednar is professor of political science and public policy at the University of Michigan.  She has been a member of the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute since 2011 and an annual visitor since 1995.  Her research focuses on how collective action builds social goods and the role that institutions play in making that collaboration possible. Current work includes: robust system design, especially of federal democracies; models of the interdependence of culture and institutions;  and public policy to support human social flourishing.  In 2019, her book The Robust Federation: Principles of Design was awarded the APSA Martha Derthick Best Book Award in recognition of its enduring contribution to the study of federalism.  In 2020, she was named APSA Daniel Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar.  In the 2021-2022 year she was the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  She earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.