Department of Political Science


Dr Thomas Gift

Thomas Gift
CUSP Director

Associate Professor

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Thomas Gift is Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Public Policy at UCL.

An expert on US politics, his research focuses on political behavior, public policy, and applications of survey and experimental methods. Gift is founding Director of the UCL Centre on US Politics (CUSP), a leading hub for research and external engagement on US politics from a global perspective. He is also Director of the UCL Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) programme.

Gift's scholarship is published or forthcoming in Political Behavior, Political Science Research and Methods, Electoral Studies, Journal of Experimental Political Science, American Politics Research, GovernanceJournal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Foreign Policy AnalysisWorld AffairsAnnual Review of Political ScienceWorld Economy, and elsewhere. He has received funding from major organizations, such as the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of State, the British Association for American Studies, and the British Academy.

Gift frequently offers expert analysis on US politics and policy for the media. He has made hundreds of television, radio, and news appearances for top UK, US, and global venues including CNN, BBC, CNBC, NPR, Bloomberg, Sky News, Associated Press, and Voice of America. He has written scores of popular articles for outlets like Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, and The National Interest, and his research has been cited in publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, and POLITICO.

Previously, Gift was based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he won a prize for distinction in undergraduate teaching in the College. He has been a Visiting Scholar in Political Science at Stanford, a Fellow in Residence at Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, and a Visiting Fellow at the LSE US Centre. Prior to academia, he worked at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington DC.

Gift holds a PhD in political science from Duke.


  • American politics
  • Elections
  • Public opinion
  • Democracy
  • US foreign policy
  • Economic policy