Ph.D. Student Profile

Denise  Lillvis

Denise Lillvis, B.A., M.P.A.

    • Doctoral Candidate (March, 2017)
      Health Services Organization & Policy and Political Science

    • Cognate: Political Science


  • Dissertation Title: Not Immune: Politics and the Role of Bureaucrat-Professionals in State Health Policy Implementation”
  • Dissertation Committee: Charles Shipan (Chair), Scott Greer, Peter Jacobson, Anna Kirkland
  • BA (honors), Swarthmore College (2003)
  • MPA, Fels Institute of Government, University of Pennsylvania (2008)

Research Interests & Projects

  • Health policy
  • Vaccine policy
  • Medical professional self-regulation
  • Bureaucratic and regulatory politics
  • Federal and state political institutions

Current Research

My research focuses on the organization and governance of public health policy at the state level. In particular, I am interested in why state health officials make certain policy decisions and what effect these policies have on the public's health. As a political scientist, I study how the three branches of government angle for control over social policies by using their institutional advantages (e.g., the power to veto bills, appoint agency heads, or review decisions made by the other branches).