Dr. Christopher L. Neff is an American teacher, research academic, writer, and commentator on a number of public policy issues. Currently, Dr. Neff is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Sydney.


He received his PhD in Public Policy at the University of Sydney in 2014 and also holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy ('07) and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia ('99). His research looks at theories of the policy process through an analysis of emotional issues such as LGBTQ politics and the "politics of shark attacks."


Christopher’s most recent work has been published in the peer-reviewed journals the Australian Journal of Political Science (2014), Environmental Studies and Sciences (2013) with Dr. Bob Hueter, Critical Studies on Security (2013) the Journal of Homosexuality (2013) with Luke Edgell, Marine Policy (2012) with Dr. Jean Yang and Coastal Management (2012). He is also the author of several book chapters.


His research has been noted in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Time magazine, The Economist, The New Yorker, USA Today, National Geographic.com, Salon, Slate, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Geographic, the Cape Town Times, and New Scientist magazine. In May 2012, Christopher gave a 'TED Talk' on his research for TED's Global Talent Search. He has also appeared on Shark Week, and written opinion pieces for the Huffington Post and academic websites The Conversation, and Duck of Minerva. 

Academic Experience

Who is Christopher Neff?

Christopher has also worked as a policy practitioner in the United States. 


Previous experience includes working in 1999 and 2001 in the offices of former Sen. John Warner (R-VA) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). In 2002, Christopher became the first full-time lobbyist for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," working at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). While there, he helped draft and introduce the first bill to repeal DADT. In 2005, Christopher moved on to the public relations firm DDB Issues & Advocacy, where he began working for the Palm Center, an academic think tank specializing in LGBTQ military issues.


As a volunteer, Christopher has also held a number of roles within the LGBTQ movement. In 2000, he was a volunteer for the Millennium March on Washington. In 2002, he was elected Secretary of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA), the United States’ most continuously active LGBTQ organization. In 2004, Christopher was elected President of GLAA and served as a founding Board Member of the Equality Federation of State-wide LGBT organizations. In 2005, he chaired the Equality Federation’s Hiring Committee, which hired the first Executive Director, Toni Broaddus. In 2005, he also founded the first LGBT lobbyist association in Washington, D.C. - Q Street.


In December, 2007 Christopher was hired as Executive Director of Outright Vermont, a queer youth center and state-wide advocacy organization. In January 2010, Christopher was sad to move on from Outright but was asked to continue his work on DADT repeal before beginning his PhD.

Practitioner Experience

Christopher Neff

Putting "the public" in public policy research