Karl Kurtz

Karl Kurtz

Principal, Legis Matters

Karl T. Kurtz is principal of Legis Matters, a consulting firm that focuses on strengthening democratic institutions, especially legislatures, at home and abroad. He previously worked for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) from its founding in 1975 until his retirement in 2014.

Karl has written, consulted and lectured widely on American state legislatures, elections and public opinion.  He is coauthor of Republic on Trial: The Case for Representative Democracy and coeditor of Institutional Change in American Politics: The Case of Term Limits.  He has provided advice and assistance in the development of democratic institutions to legislators and legislative staff throughout the world. As a consultant to NCSL, Karl is currently leading a national study of how legislatures can overcome problems of political polarization and effectively reach settlements and negotiate differences on critical issues.

Before joining NCSL, Karl taught political science at the University of Georgia.  He worked on the staff of the United States Congress as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association.  He holds an AB degree from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from Washington University (St. Louis).