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Special Committee Members and Bios

Glen Bolger is a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs survey research firm. Prior to co-founding Public Opinion Strategies, Mr. Bolger was the Director of Survey Research & Analysis for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the political arm of the House Republican Caucus.  For its work in the 2002 elections, Public Opinion Strategies won the “Pollster of the Year” Campaign Excellence Award from the American Association of Political Consultants.

Darren W. Davis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in political psychology, political behavior, public opinion, research methods, and racial politics..  He is the author of Negative Liberty: Public Opinion and the Terrorist Attacks on America. In addition, his research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Political Behavior, and Social Science Quarterly.    In 2003, Professor Davis was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award by Public Opinion and Elections Section of the American Political Science Association (Top Scholar Within 10 years of Ph. D.)

Charles Franklin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin and co-developer of His research focuses on campaign politics in presidential and senate elections. His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics and Legislative Studies Quarterly, among others. Franklin served for eight years as a member of the Board of Overseers of the National Election Study at the University of Michigan. He is past president of the Society for Political Methodology.

Robert M. Groves is Director, the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, Research Professor at its Institute for Social Research, and Research Professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.   His publications include Survey Errors and Survey Costs, named as one of the most influential books in survey research in the last 50 years by AAPOR, Survey Methodology (with F. Fowler, M. Couper, J. Lepkowski, E. Singer, R. Tourangeau), and Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys (with M. Couper).  He was awarded the AAPOR Innovator Award in 2000 and in 2001, he received the AAPOR award for distinguished achievement

Paul J. Lavrakas, s a methodological research consultant. He served as Vice President and Senior Research Methodologist for Nielsen Media Research from 2000-2007. He is the author (along with Michael Traugott) of The Voter’s Guide to Election Polls. He also served as guest editor for a special issue of Public Opinion QuarterlyCell Phone Numbers and Telephone Surveys.”  Dr. Lavrakas was a co-recipient of the 2003 AAPOR Innovators Award for his work on the standardization of survey response rate calculations. He is the 1997 recipient of the MAPOR Fellows Award and the 2007 recipient of the NYAAPOR Outstanding Career Achievement Award.

Mark S. Mellman is CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm whose clients include leading political figures, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the nation's most important public interest groups.  He has served as a consultant on politics to CBS News, a presidential debate analyst for PBS, and on the faculty of The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Philip Meyer holds the Knight Chair in Journalism at the University of North Carolina. He had  a 23-year career with Knight Ridder as a Miami Herald reporter, Washington correspondent, and director of news and circulation research.  Meyer’s books include The Vanishing Newspaper (2004), Precision Journalism (4th edition, 2002), Ethical Journalism (1987), and The Newspaper Survival Book (1985). In 2000, the American Association for Public Opinion Research gave him its highest honor, the AAPOR award for distinguished achievement.

Kristen Olson is Assistant Professor of Survey Research and Methodology and Sociology at the University of Nebraska. Her research areas include nonresponse bias, nonresponse adjustments, interrelationships between error sources with a focus on nonresponse and measurement errors, interviewer effects, and dynamic approaches to surveys. In  2002  she was named Outstanding Graduate Student, Washington Statistical Society and in 2006,  received a  National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant

J. Ann Selzer is President of Selzer & Company.  She is a former director of The Des Moines Register poll; her company continues to administer that poll.  Dr. Selzer is a frequent speaker at research industry conferences and in 2004 won the Newspaper Association of America’s Research Award of Merit.  She is the youngest recipient of this lifetime achievement award.

Michael W. Traugott is Professor of Communication Studies and Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. He is the author or co-author of twelve books and more than 75 journal articles and book chapters, including (with Paul J. Lavrakas)  The Voter’s Guide to Election Polls, just published in its fourth edition, and Election Polls, the News Media, and Democracy.  Professor Traugott is a past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the current President of the World Association of Public Opinion Research.

Christopher Wlezien is Professor of Political Science and Faculty Affiliate in the Institute for Public Affairs at Temple University. His primary, ongoing research develops a “thermostatic” model of public opinion and policy and examines the dynamic interrelationships between preferences for spending and budgetary policy. His other major area of research, on “The Timeline of Election Campaigns,” addresses the evolution of voter preferences over the course of the election cycle.  He has published widely in the areas of elections, public opinion, and public policy, and recently co-edited Britain Votes (Oxford University Press) and The Future of Election Studies (Elsevier).  He is coeditor of The International Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties.

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