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Karen Kunz, DPA



  • D.P.A., Public Administration, University of Illinois at Springfield
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Illinois at Springfield


Dr. Kunz teaches courses on public financial management and budgeting, public policy advocacy, and public leadership. Her research interests include publicly funded capitalism, the cost of governance, financial market regulation, and delusional democracy.

Prior to her academic career, Dr. Kunz spent 25 years in the financial markets industry. She began her career in the municipal bond market and ultimately established one of the first female-owned consulting firms in the industry. Her clients included institutional investors and traders, and boutique, regional and multinational firms. Dr. Kunz serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Budget and Program Analysts (AABPA) the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, and the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition.  She is also a commissioner on the Morgantown Utility Board and a U.S. Army veteran.

In 2021, Dr. Kunz co-chaired The 1921 Budget Act At 100 - Why It Matters More Than Ever, a partnership between AAPBA, NAPA and ABFM to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the legislation that created the budget process still in use today.  Videos of the virtual, week-long series of panels on the past, present and future impacts of the legislation are available at

Dr. Kunz's  Vitae

Courses Taught

  • Public Financial Management
  • Public Budgeting
  • Regulatory Reporting Requirements in Public Finance (online)
  • Civil Disobedience (graduate & undergraduate)
  • Economic Issues and Fiscal Policy
  • Collective Action and Public Policy
  • Public Policy Advocacy
  • Change Leadership
  • Public Leadership

Books & Book Chapters 

K. Kunz- Cost of Congress                                                        

The Cost of Congress            

Karen Kunz & Stavros Atsas. 2022.


K. Kunz

When the Levees Break: Re-visioning Regulation of the Securities Market

Karen Kunz & Jena Martin. 2017.

Lexington Books.

K. Kunz

 Able, C.F. & Kunz, K. 2018. Unsettling the Memes of Neoliberal Capitalism through Administrative Praxis. (  
In Austerity to Abundance? Creative Approaches to Coordinating the Common Good, Critical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management, Vol. 6, p. 35-58. Emerald Publishing Limited.    

Academic & Media Publications

Social Theory

Kunz, K & C. Able. 2022 Pragmatism and the Ethics of Belief. Philosophy & Social Criticism. Special issue: Critical Problems and Pragmatist Solutions, 0; 1-16. 

Securities Regulation 

Martin, J. & K. Kunz. 2018. "What is insider trading, the crime Rep. Christ Collins was charged with?” The Conversation, May 2. 

J, Martin & K. Kunz. 2017. “Why Dodd-Frank -or its repeal - won't save us from the next crippling Wall Street crash.” 2018.  The Conversation, May 2. 

Kunz, K & J. Martin. 2013. Into the Breech: The Increasing Gap between Algorithmic Trading and Securities Regulation, Journal of Financial Services Research, 47:135–152
 ( (2013).

Public Finance

Kunz, K. 2016. “2016’s States with the Best and Worst ROI” ( report/3283/#karen-kunz).

Kunz, K. 2015. Creating the Fix: Transparency, Engagement and Results. Editor, Special symposium issue.  Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, 27(4).  

O’Leary, S. & K. Kunz. 2011. Earmarks Fuel West Virginia Economic Development Spending. Public Affairs Reporter, XXVII:1. ( 

Kunz, K. 2009. The increasing use of earmarks to fund local infrastructure: A case study of Illinois municipal government. Municipal Finance Journal, 30:3, 30-51.  

Public Policy

Atsas, S. & K. Kunz. 2014. Policy review: The U.S. Affordable Care Act, community health centers, and economic development opportunities. Community Development, 45:4, 409-422. ( atsas-policy-review-the-us-affordable-care-act-community-health-centers-and-economic-development-opportunities.pdf

Kunz, K. & S. Atsas. 2013. Ensuring equitable access to public health care: two steps forward, one step back. Social Science Journal.  


K. Kunz & L. DeFrank-Cole. 2015. Helen Holt: A centenarian's perspective on a lifetimeof servant leadership. Public Administration Review

K. Kunz & C. Staton. 2014. Engaging Women in Public Office in West Virginia. Public Voices, XIII:2, 64-88. 

Media Interviews & Quotes

The Briefing. 2022. The Cost of Congress. Steve Scully. POTUS, Sirius XM, October 28-29, 2022.

Charleston Gazette-Mail. 2021. Despite opposition, House poised to pass its income tax cut plan. Phil Kabler, Mar 25.

The Washington Post. 2021. As Democrats bring back earmarks for transportation projects, billions of dollars from years ago sits unused. Ian Dunan, March 3. 

Concord Coalition. 2020. Can the Democrats Message “Yes”?  Facing the Future (podcast). Concord Coalition, Nov 18. 


WVU Magazine. 2019. Holding Back the Flood. April Johnson. 

Barron’s. 2018. How the Financial Crisis Still Affects Investors. September 20. 

The Globe Post. 2018. Lessons Not Learned: US Financial System Still at Risk 10 Years After Crash. September 8.

Wisconsin Public Radio. 2017. House Republicans Pass CHOICE Act to Repeal Portions of Dodd-Frank. Central Time.

The West Virginia Record. 2017. Market Collapse Unavoidable for U.S. According To West Virginia University Professors Authors.  With Jena Martin, February.

Marketplace. (American Public Media). Presidential candidates at least agree on one thing. (2016).

NY Times. 2012. In Post-Earmark Era, Small Cities Step Up Lobbying to Fight for Federal Grants. Ron Nixon, Feb 12.

The State Journal. 2012. WVU faculty looks at election, approaching fiscal cliff.

The NY Times. 2012. In Post-Earmark Era, SmallCities Step Up Lobbying to Fight for Federal Grants. 

eCivix. 2012. Experts Weigh in When the Earmarks Are Out. 

Bloomberg. 2012. Earmarks in a post-Byrd and Mollohan era

The Charleston Gazette. 2011. Fewer earmarks could hurt W.Va.'s growth.

Workshops & Videos

The 1921 Budget Act At 100 - Why It Matters MoreThan Ever. 2021-2. Co-chair. 

Federal budgeting in 2013: fundamentally challenged (

Demystifying public finance. 2015. 3-day workshop. Chautauqua Institute, NY. Jun 29-Jul 1.