David M. Primo

Senior Affiliated Scholar
Associate Professor of Political Science and Business Administration, University of Rochester

David M. Primo is a Senior Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His primary appointment is as the Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor and Professor of Political Science and Business Administration at the University of Rochester. He is an expert in American politics, campaign finance law, corporate political strategy, corporate social responsibility, and fiscal policy.

Primo is the author or co-author of four books, including Campaign Finance and American Democracy: What the Public Really Thinks and Why It Matters and the award-winning Rules and Restraint: Government Spending and the Design of Institutions. Primo has published his research in leading journals such as the American Journal of Political Science and Strategic Management Journal, and his work has been supported by several organizations including the National Science Foundation.

Primo’s op-eds have appeared in national newspapers including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and he’s been interviewed on radio and television stations including Bloomberg and National Public Radio. He has testified before Congress multiple times on the subject of constitutional budget rules and budget process reform, and his campaign finance research was cited in 2011 by Chief Justice John Roberts in a US Supreme Court decision regarding the public funding of elections.

In 2014, Primo created the Politics and Markets Project at the University of Rochester, which fosters education, research, and debate about the appropriate relationship between business and government in the 21st century. The panel events Primo moderates as part of PMP programming bring together experts from across the political spectrum to debate controversial issues in a civil fashion.

Primo teaches courses in American politics, corporate political strategy, and innovation and global business. He is a recipient of the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Education, the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Undergraduate Professor of the Year Award given by the University of Rochester Students’ Association.

Primo joined the Rochester faculty in 2002 after receiving his PhD in Political Science from Stanford University, where he also received an MA in Economics. He can be reached at 585-273-4779 or david.primo@rochester.edu.

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