Jon Herbert's first degree was in Modern History at Oxford, followed by a Masters in American Government and Politics at Essex University. His interest in the American Presidency really took off and he completed his PhD at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge on how presidents-elect and presidents take policy decisions.

He was soon appointed to the American Studies Department at Keele University and later to its School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations & Environment. The primary focus of his research continues to be the American Presidency, although he has broader interests in both public policy and US government as a whole.

He is particularly interested in how presidents choose to govern and what constrains their ability to get things done. Particularly, he works on ideas concerning the relationship between presidential policy-making, presidential agendas and political strategy. He publishes on other subjects (recently on the conservative movement in the US and US foreign policy).