Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Toms, Sr., Forrest D.


This study applies the theory of representative bureaucracy to state level political appointees over the course of five gubernatorial administrations in North Carolina. The theory of representative bureaucracy holds that the demographic diversity of the workforce of public sector organizations or bureaucracies (passive representation) leads to policy decisions and outcomes that reflect the beliefs and interests of the groups that are represented (active representation), including underrepresented populations (e.g. minorities and women) that have historically been disadvantaged. Using measures of representativeness, the study determines the extent to which members of underrepresented populations have been appointed to leadership positions by each of the five governors who have held office in North Carolina from 1973 to 2012, and addresses the central question of how and whether underrepresented populations appointed to state level leadership positions have exercised their administrative discretion to advance bureaucratic representation.