Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is an assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, where he studies American political economy, with a focus on the politics of business, labor, wealthy donors, and policy.

His most recent book, State Capture, examines how networks of conservative activists, donors, and businesses built organizations to successfully reshape public policy across the states and why progressives failed in similar efforts. His previous book, Politics at Work, examines how employers are increasingly recruiting their workers into politics to change elections and policy. His current research focuses on the politics of labor unions, with a focus on the public sector labor movement and worker preferences for new models of labor organization; interest groups, lobbying and legislative representation; and American political economy. He has published his research in leading peer-reviewed journals in political science and policy, including the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, and Perspectives on Politics, as well as in The American Prospect, Democracy Journal, the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vox, among other outlets.

He received his Ph.D. in government and social policy from Harvard University and has received fellowships and grants from the Hewlett Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Tobin Project, the National Science Foundation, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Areas of Expertise




Wealthy Donors


Political Influence

Interest Groups

Political Economy