People

Alexander Tahk

Position title: Incoming Director

Alexander Tahk is the incoming Director of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research and teaching interests are in the fields of methodology and American politics. Professor Tahk completed his doctoral work in political science at Stanford University, where he also received a master’s degree in statistics. He received his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work has been published in major research publications such as the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Political Analysis, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Influence, and American Political Science Review. He also serves as a Faculty Affiliate with the University of Wisconsin Law School and an Honorary Fellow in its Institute for Legal Studies.

Eric Tempelis

Position title: Assistant Director

Eric Tempelis is the Assistant Director of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership and an Honorary Fellow with the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  His career includes roles in local, state and federal government, most recently as a prosecutor.  Eric formerly served as a corporate government affairs director, president of a statewide association, adjunct instructor at a liberal arts university, and staff member in the offices of Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum and U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.  Eric earned a Certificate in Integrated Liberal Studies, BA, MPA, and JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  As a law student, he was selected as a general editor of the annual National Symposium of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.  He is a former member and rank leader in the Wisconsin Marching Band.

Tia Westhoff

Position title: Administrative Assistant

Tia Westhoff is the Administrative Assistant of the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership and recently graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Tia received her B.A. in Philosophy and Theology and minor in Political Science from Benedictine College and spent summers interning in Washington, D.C. After graduation, she completed a fellowship with the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia. Tia has experience in nonprofit development and social work serving families experiencing homelessness and individuals with disabilities. She also served as a Project Assistant researching Wisconsin’s disability insurance programs with the UW-Madison Center for Financial Security.

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Former Members