Narrative bio


Dr. Nathan A. Paxton serves as a policy adviser (legislative assistant) to U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), where he is the senator’s principal advisor on global health and health security, international development and assistance, and the COVID-19 pandemic response. With Dr. Paxton’s help, Senator King introduced the first comprehensive global health security response bill in the United States Senate (the Global Health Security Act), as well as several other measures to protect the public from infectious disease or provide further resources for tracking and slowing the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Paxton was the principal staffer for Senator King’s first lead-authored bill to become law.

Prior to serving Senator King and the people of Maine, Dr. Paxton was Professorial Lecturer at American University’s School of International Service and a lecturer at Harvard University; he taught classes on the politics of global health, international development, international relations, and international political theory and philosophy. His research addressed the ways governmental structure and organizational learning affect the development of public health policy, as well as the comparative ways that disease, conflict, and democratization can affect one another.

In addition to his work in Congress, Dr. Paxton has consulted for the “aids2031” project of the Social Science Research Council and for UNAIDS, and his research has received funding from the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program, the Rotary International Foundation, the International AIDS Society, the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, and several universities. He has served on boards and committees of: the American Political Science Association, the Berkeley Canterbury Foundation, and is currently the Secretary of the DC Strokes Rowing Club (the oldest LGBTQ+ rowing club in the world).

Dr. Paxton received his Doctor of Philosophy (Political Science) from Harvard University in 2010. He also earned master’s degrees from the University of California—Berkeley (M.A., Political Science) and Cambridge University (MPhil, International Relations). Dr. Paxton received his bachelor’s degree (with high honors and in the top 1 percent of his class) in international relations from the University of California, Davis, where he did learn to (poorly) milk a cow.

Dr. Paxton is a third-generation native of Redlands, California and third-generation graduate of Redlands High School. He is married to Prof. Brian Flanagan, and they have a wirehaired dachshund, Oscar.


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