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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Eagleton Faculty/Staff Bios

Associate Director, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University

John Weingart is the associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Before coming to Eagleton in 2000, he worked in New Jersey state government during the administrations of two Democratic and two Republican governors focusing on environmental and land use issues. His experience includes helping to write and implement New Jersey’s coastal zone management program and Hudson River Walkway Plan while serving as a division director and assistant commissioner in the Department of Environmental Protection, directing a state commission’s unusual public process to encourage a municipality to volunteer to host a disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste and, most recently, chairing the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council from its initial meeting in 2004 through its 92nd five years later.

John’s publications include the Eagleton Institute study, "Another Government Success Story: Citizen Volunteers on New Jersey State Boards and Commissions" and the book, Waste Is A Terrible Thing To Mind: Risk, Radiation, and Distrust of Government, described by the Star-Ledger as “a major contribution … to finding the answer to how our relationship with government can change to one in which we actually trust public agencies and officials to help us know what is dangerous and what isn’t” and by Politifax as “a classic NIMBY tale that … unlike any other book about policy we’ve ever read is actually quite funny.” His earlier book, Reform of Undergraduate Education (written with Arthur E. Levine) was named "Book of the Year" by the American Council on Education.

On Sunday nights, John hosts Music You Can't Hear On The Radio, New Jersey's longest-running radio show of folk music, bluegrass and other American roots music, on WPRB-FM and

He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Brandeis University and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and was also in the Leadership New Jersey class of 1989. John and his wife, Deborah Spitalnik, live in Hunterdon County. Their daughter Molly lives in Philadelphia.