James W. CeaserJames W. Ceaser is Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection, Liberal Democracy and Political Science, Reconstructing America, and Nature and History in American Political Development. Professor Ceaser has held visiting professorships at the University of Florence, the University of Basel, Oxford University, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Rennes.

Professor Ceaser has spent much time working in the areas of civic education and democracy studies. He has traveled extensively for the State Department giving lectures on American politics and advising programs designed for the study of American politics. His most important contribution in the area was his role in the planning and establishment of The George C. Marshall Center for European Studies in Garmisch, Germany, for which the United States Army awarded him The Joint Meritorious Unit Award for Total Engagement (1996). Professor Ceaser is a frequent contributor to the popular press, and he often comments on American politics for the Voice of America.

Associate Director

Charette Danielle Charette is an Assistant Professor of Politics in the General Faculty and the associate director of PCD. She is a political theorist focused on tensions between republican institutions and the emergence of political economy in the eighteenth century, especially in the writings of David Hume. Her research has appeared in journals such as the American Political Science ReviewPolitical Studies, the History of European IdeasPolitical Theory (online archive), The History of Political Thought, History, and several edited volumes. She is also the book review editor for American Political Thought. Her current book project explores Hume’s understanding of the modern commercial state. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2021 and her BA from Swarthmore in 2014. 

Visiting Professor

Pontuso headshot James F. Pontuso is teaching PCD's flagship seminar, The American Political Tradition. He has authored or edited seven books and published more than 100 articles, reviews, and essays. His latest book, Nature's Virtue, was published by St. Augustine's Press in 2019.  He has taught or lectured in a dozen countries, including as a John Adams Fellow at the University of London, a Fulbright scholar the Czech Republic, and a visiting Professor at the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani. Until his retirement in June 2022, he was Patterson Professor in the Government Department at Hampden-Sydney College.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lykins Max Lykins is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy. He is a political theorist with interests in the ancient world and the republican tradition. His primary research focus is on Roman political thought, particularly that of the historian Tacitus. He is also interested in the political philosophy of emotions, how authors use literature to communicate philosophical ideas, and the reception of Roman thought. His work has been published in Political Research QuarterlyPolis: The Journal for Greek and Roman Political Thought, and the Michigan Journal of Law and Society. He is currently working on a book project on Tacitus and republican political philosophy. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2022.


Lynn Uzzell has taught extensively on political philosophy, rhetoric, the United States Constitution, and American political thought at Baylor University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond. She specializes in the Constitutional Convention of 1787. For four years she was also the scholar in residence at the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. She is currently a visiting assistant professor of politics at Washington and Lee University. She received her BA at Black Hills State University and her MA and PhD in politics at the University of Dallas.

Evan Pivonka


Evan Pivonka received his PhD in Politics at the University of Virginia. He is Special Assistant to the Honor Committee.