Faculty Profile

Sara Rinfret

Sara Rinfret

Director, MPA Program

Email: sara.rinfret@umontana.edu
Office: Law 146
Office Hours:

Fall 2018: 

Tuesday/Thursdays (10:30-11:30a.m.); Wednesdays (2:00-3:00p.m.); or by appointment


Curriculum Vitae


Public Administration (501); Organizational Theory (504); Agency Policymaking (595); Environmental Policy (595); Women, Policy & Public Administration (595)

Personal Summary

Sara Rinfret teaches courses on regulatory policy, environmental policy, state and local government, public policy, and public administration. She is the Director for the Master of Public Administration Program and Co-Directs the Social Science Research Laboratory. Her main area of research is focused on environmental regulations. More specifically, she is interested in the interactions between agencies and interest groups during the stages of environmental rulemaking at the federal and state level. To date, her work has been published in Society and Natural Resources, Environmental Politics, Review of Policy Research, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, PS: Political Science and Politics, Public Administration Quarterly, and the Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy, to name a few. 

She has co-authored four books: The Lilliputians of Environmental Regulation: The Perspective of State Regulators (Routledge); U.S. Environmental Policy in Action (Palgrave) (co-written with Michelle Pautz); Public Policy: A Concise Introduction (CQ Press, with Michelle Pautz and Denise Scheberle) and the Environmental Case (CQ Press, with Judith Layzer). She is a recipient of the Fulbright Specialist Program in public administration and studied with scholars at the University of Aarhus (Denmark) in 2016. In 2018, she was selected by UM student alumni as the "most inspirational teacher" of the year. She was nominated and selected for NASPAA Next, an institute for the future of public affairs education, Fall 2018.

Her MPA is from Ohio State University's John Glenn School of Public Affairs and a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Arizona University.


Northern Arizona University, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University, MPA
Otterbein College, BA

Field of Study

Regulatory policy, American politics, interest groups, environmental policy, public policy, public administration, state and local government

Home Department

Political Science

Area of Expertise

Role of EPA in producing rules that impact states implementation of policy, agency and stakeholder interactions; US Environmental Policy; Relationships between companies and agencies at the state and federal Level; Interest groups' Influence on decision making; campaigns/elections; public administration; US Public Policy