John J Sivolella

John J Sivolella

Research Interest


John is on faculty in the Department of Political Science at Columbia, where he earned a Ph.D. (American Politics). He teaches senior seminars on U.S. Presidential Power and Political and Legal Influences on Federal Agencies. John has been on faculty at SIPA, where he designed and taught a core class, The Politics of Policymaking in ‘Advanced’ Democracies, in the MPA program.

John has been a thesis advisor and has conducted an independent study course on Voting Rights. His research focuses on federal agencies, executive power and constitutional law. As a Teaching Fellow, John was a preceptor for the Senior Honors Seminar and TA to President Lee Bollinger for Freedom of Speech and Press.

John is a contributor to WBUR’s Cognoscenti opinion page and provides occasional radio commentary on American politics for WBUR and NPR.

He is on the academic advisory board of the Pegasus Institute, a millennial-led, state-based think tank in Louisville.

In the community, John is a member of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He served on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s ‘Better Government’ Transition Team, and was appointed to the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission by former Governor Deval Patrick. He is a member of the Red Jacket Society at City Year. 

He is on the Board of Overseers of the Rutgers University Foundation and on the Advisory Council to the Dean of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. John is also a member of the Advisory Board to the Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at Babson College.

John was in private law practice in Manhattan, focusing on corporate and securities law, venture capital, and mergers and acquisitions. He was legal counsel to the Governor of New Jersey, where he supervised the process of evaluating nominees for judicial appointments, was the Governor’s senate liaison, and advised on issues pertaining to health and human services. He also served as a judicial law clerk on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

John received a JD from New York University School of Law, where he was on Annual Survey of American Law. He earned an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. John received a BA from Rutgers University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.