The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Candidates for Vice President/President Elect
David Dutwin Bio and Platform Positions
Dan Merkle Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Secretary-Treasurer
Maureen Michaels Bio and Platform Positions
Jordon Peugh Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Communications Chair
Jennifer Agiesta Bio and Platform Positions
Josh De La Rosa Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Conference Chair
Liz Hamel Bio and Platform Positions
Courtney Kennedy Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Education Chair
Matt Jans Bio and Platform Positions
Kyley McGeeney Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Membership and Chapter Relations Chair
Emily Geisen Bio and Platform Positions
Gretchen McHenry Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Associate Standards Chair
Charles DiSogra Bio and Platform Positions
Stephanie Eckman Bio and Platform Positions

Candidates for Councilor-at-Large
Chase Harrison Bio and Platform Positions
David Wilson Bio and Platform Positions

David Dutwin
David Dutwin is Executive Vice President and Chief Methodologist at SSRS, where his primary responsibilities include executive vision and strategy, project acquisition and oversight, statistical estimation, and management of advanced research methods. He is a Senior Fellow of the Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as a Senior Lecturer.

Particular areas of focus include election polling and modelling; low incidence research methods; Hispanic and Jewish population research; non-probabilistic sample modelling; address-based designs; small-area dual-frame telephonic approaches; and considerations of total survey error. 

An avid member of the AAPOR community, David served on the 2015/16 Executive Council, was 2016 Conference Chair, and has served full terms on a number of committees including Standards, Communications, Student Paper, and Heritage.  He presently serves on the Standards Definitions Committee. He was the co-chair of the 2014 AAPOR Special Task Force on Survey Refusals, and the Seymour Sudman Student Paper award winner at the 2002 national AAPOR conference.  David has also contributed to AAPOR education in teaching multiple short courses and webinars.  Publications range from peer-reviewed journals such as Public Opinion Quarterly, professional practice journals like Survey Practice, and trade journals including Alert! The Magazine of the Marketing Research Association.

David attained his doctorate from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002.  For over fifteen years, he has taught Research Methods, Rhetorical Theory, Media Effects and other courses as an Adjunct Professor at multiple universities including the University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, and the University of Arizona.   He has served as a Research Scholar for the Institute for Jewish and Community Research since 2005.

David is deeply honored to be considered for AAPOR’s highest office. He writes: “I am thrilled at the prospect of helping lead AAPOR into the future, however challenging that may be. Knowing that I am part of an organization that values research integrity and validity, that meets the challenges of today’s world in maintaining excellence and prominence in the field of public opinion research, is what makes me so proud to be an AAPOR member and makes this opportunity even more exciting.”

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Vice President help to address them?
Our field has seen a great deal of change in the past decade.  There are more types of data, and more approaches to collecting and analyzing those data, than ever before.  And with that, there are more potential avenues for error, but also greater potential for insight and value.  Society does not always advance in linear fashion, and today we are met with concerns over not just data quality and integrity, but the very role of data, science, and public opinion.  AAPOR’s key challenge is to help society refine its understanding of the role of public opinion, to gain better understanding of the critical nature of opinion in our democracy, while at the same time demarcate good social science, educate the public as to good and bad data and uses of data, and better convince the public of the critical role served by public opinion and social science in society.

These are not trivial challenges, and how we meet them likely will have substantial implications with regard to the future of our field.  More so, they will have implications on the type of society in which we live, and in this regard, I hold the proposition of responsibility for meeting these challenges on behalf of AAPOR not with trepidation, but with excitement and energy.  Together AAPOR can help transform the field, the perception of the field, and even the very role of social science and public opinion in today’s society.

As Vice President, I would dedicate my energies to developing and enacting strategies and opportunities for effectively meeting these challenges. This might include, for example, realigning strategic plans in light of our new reality, developing stronger relationships with sister organizations to combine our efforts, and other actions.  Importantly, this will require engagement from all corners of our association, but never have I met a more passionate and dedicated collection of professionals than the AAPOR membership.  

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Vice President?
AAPOR is unique, and strong, because of its diversity.  Few professional organizations have such an eclectic and complimentary mix of for-profit, nonprofit, academic, and governmental members.  Therefore, AAPOR would benefit from leadership that values, understands, and can relate to its members’ diverse perspectives.  I believe I am uniquely positioned to represent all AAPOR members as my background includes 15 years of teaching and being involved in academic research; working in the Federal Government; serving as a research partner for a range of nonprofit survey organizations; and of course, holding an executive position in a for-profit research organization.  I have experienced many aspects of AAPOR life, having not only organized and run the 2016 AAPOR conference but also having served on Communications, Standards, and other diverse committees.  I have published and presented on substantive issues as well as methodological concerns, ranging from studies on total survey error to specific sampling solutions.  I believe my current work on bias in survey research addresses some of the most important questions faced by AAPOR today, questions concerning the very validity and reliability of the data we gather. 

As a senior executive of a major survey research firm, I have been focused on building that company, fostering its research partnerships with scores of nonprofit, academic, for-profit and governmental organizations, ensuring its fiscal health, positioning it for a prosperous future, maximizing its present-day effectiveness, and mentoring its employees so that they can reach their own professional goals.  I can think of no better preparation to be AAPOR Vice President than what I have learned helping to create and grow a research company from its inception.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve the AAPOR community and continue a great tradition of AAPOR success, prosperity, and collegiality.

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Dan Merkle
Dan Merkle is Executive Director of Elections at ABC News where he is responsible for election data and projections and serves as ABC's representative on the National Election Pool Steering Committee. At ABC News, he’s also in charge of setting and enforcing survey reporting standards for the news division. Previously Dan was Assistant Director of Polling at ABC where he designed, managed and analyzed polls on a wide variety of topics.

An active AAPOR member since 1988, Dan will be attending his 29th consecutive AAPOR conference this year. He has served AAPOR in various capacities over the years including four terms on AAPOR’s Executive Council as Secretary/Treasurer (2015-2016), Counselor-at-Large (2013-2014), Conference Chair (2011-2012), and Communications Chair (2004-2005). 

In addition, Dan was the first chair AAPOR’s Investment Committee, serving on that committee for 10 years. He was also chair of AAPOR’s Financial Oversight Committee and served on the Development Committee, Conference Committee, Book Award Committee, and Student Paper Award Committee. He was also elected Program Chair and Communications Chair of NYAAPOR.

Dan is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. He has served as Associate Editor of Public Opinion Quarterly and is currently on POQ’s Editorial Board. He was also on the Advisory Board of the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods. Dan is the author of over 60 conference papers, journal articles and book chapters on survey methodology and public opinion. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Prior to joining ABC News, Dan was Director of Surveys at Voter News Service and before that Senior Project Director and Methodologist at D.S. Howard and Associates, a market research firm in Chicago.

Dan writes: “It’s a great honor to be nominated to run for Vice President/President-Elect of AAPOR. I have much love and respect for AAPOR and its traditions, but I’m also excited about the opportunity to contribute to AAPOR’s continued growth. This includes continuing to strengthen AAPOR’s influence as the voice of our profession, as well as enhancing AAPOR’s role in evaluating emerging methodologies resulting from technological advances and the rapidly changing communication environment.”

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Vice President/President-Elect help to address them?
Our field is in a state of flux. While it has become more difficult to conduct quality surveys, advances in big data analytics have made it possible to study opinions and behavior by analyzing existing data. One result of this is the perception among some people that surveys are becoming obsolete.
However, the future of our field should not be viewed as a choice between surveys and big data. This is an exciting time for AAPOR members as we navigate this changing empirical landscape. An important focus should be on how surveys and big data can be used successfully to complement each other.
If elected I would advocate for AAPOR’s continued leadership in the form of task forces and workshops on survey data quality issues, as well as for continued evaluation of the strengths and limitations of big data analytics by extending the excellent work of AAPOR’s Big Data Task Force.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Vice President/President-Elect?
I’ve been actively involved in the survey research profession and AAPOR for the past 28 years. I’ve worked in various sectors of our field including media polling, academic survey research and marketing research. This has provided me with an appreciation of the breadth of our field and an understanding of the similarities and differences inherent in different research perspectives and goals.

I have extensive leadership experience chairing and serving on various AAPOR committees as well as committees in my professional capacity outside of AAPOR. I have served four terms on AAPOR’s Executive Council as Secretary/Treasurer (2015-2016), Counselor-at-Large (2013-2014), Conference Chair (2011-2012), and Communications Chair (2004-2005). This service has given me keen insight into the inner workings of AAPOR and it goals. I was also the inaugural Chair of AAPOR’s Investment Committee (2005-2010), instituting for the first time a diversified investment strategy that has led to greater financial returns for the organization.

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Maureen Michaels
Maureen Michaels, president of Michaels Opinion Research, Inc., has over 30 years experience designing and managing numerous research projects for programs in public health, education, communications and business strategy.

Ms. Michaels began her career in research at The Gallup Poll. For Gallup, she was managing editor of the monthly magazine, The Gallup Report, and research assistant to George Gallup, Jr and James Shriver III. Ms. Michaels was also a contributing writer to the syndicated Associated Press column, “The Gallup Youth Survey.”
Prior to forming her firm, Ms. Michaels was a vice president in the research division of Hill and Knowlton, Inc., the international public relations agency. She has been a business strategy advisor to senior management at Scholastic, the international children’s book publisher for over two decades. She directed research for Napster when the firm was changing music distribution standards on a global scale.

Ms. Michaels has collaborated on STI/HIV-related initiatives with the University of California, San Francisco, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies; FH360, The Harvard AIDS Institute and Montefiore Medical Center. Since 2014, Ms. Michaels has conducted an ongoing series of message development and positioning research for the CDC-funded National Sexual Health Coalition.

Other clients represent a spectrum of leading firms and nonprofit organizations including Acumen, Alcoa, Altarum Institute, American Foundation for the Blind, Audible.com, Australian Education International, British Council, British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mary Kay Inc., Open Society Foundations, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Rainforest Alliance, Royal Shakespeare Company, Sanofi Aventis, Sanofi Pasteur, Simons Foundation, The Body Shop, Transportation Alternatives and Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Ms. Michaels has been an exit poll analyst during presidential primaries and general elections for ABC News, CBS News, The New York Times and, since 2008, for NBC News. Ms. Michaels has also been an invited participant in think-tank retreats sponsored by the Getty Foundation (on changing leisure activity trends and public attendance at US cultural institutions) and by the British Council in Brussels (on EU/US trans-Atlantic relations). She is currently the membership chair for NYAAPOR.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Secretary/Treasurer help to address them?
For well over a decade, the field of survey research has come under increasing pressures because of non-response rates, escalating costs for telephone surveys, and adoption of wireless services and devices. The use of online panels will continue to grow. AAPOR’s Secretary/Treasurer needs to both safeguard and shape the financial framework of the organization as it grows and transitions with a new generation of public opinion and market researchers.
Two more challenges I’d like to explore involve AAPOR itself as an organization. We provide a Student Travel Award to the national conference and I’d like to see how we could expand that travel award to include early career working professionals. Most research firms are very selective about when they will cover the expenses of employees to attend the conference. It would be motivating to broaden the scope of the travel award program.  The second challenge I’d like to address is how national AAPOR can better support the regional chapters which are playing a vital role in offering programs and workshops throughout the calendar year and creating communities of researchers in so many regions.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Secretary/Treasurer?
I’ve successfully managed a small research firm for over 25 years. I understand the details of a balance sheet. I’ve learned how and where to cut costs in order to navigate two recessions without employee reductions. I also learned how to make careful investments to protect and enhance the opportunities for the business and its staff.

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Jordon Peugh
Jordon Peugh has conducted social science research for two decades at a number of major research organizations, including Harris Interactive, GfK, and presently at SSRS.  As Vice President at SSRS, Jordon is responsible for all elements of public opinion and health policy survey research for a variety of clients in non-profit, media, government, and academic sectors.   In this role, she develops client relationships, advises on methodology, creates and manages study budgets, and oversees all phases of research projects from design through delivery of results.  

Jordon holds a Master's degree in Sociology from New York University.  She has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed papers, appearing in Health Affairs, JAMA and others.  Across multiple research organizations, Jordon had led health policy teams and managed projects on topics such as domestic and international health policy, needs and experiences of patients and physicians, adoption of health IT, impact of social marketing campaigns, and constituent loyalty.  She has also conducted research at the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Jordon has been actively involved in AAPOR since 2009 (and has her original paper membership card to prove it!).  She served on the Executive Council as Associate Communications Chair (2015) & Communications Chair (2016).  In this position, Jordon was pivotal in reshaping the roles and responsibilities of the Committee, increasing member engagement and giving Communications a more active role on Council.  Jordon has further served AAPOR as a member of the Education Committee.  Jordon is a member of NY-AAPOR, where she served as Communications Chair (2011-2013), and PANJAAPOR.   Jordon says, “My prior stint on Council was a truly challenging and engaging experience, one which allowed me grow as a professional and, I believe, add value to the Council and the Association.  I am extremely honored to be asked to serve again as Associate Secretary-Treasurer.  I look forward to the opportunity, if elected, to bring my energy and careful attention to the demanding task of stewardship of the financial health of the organization I love.” 

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing AAPOR, and how can the Associate Secretary-Treasurer help to address them?
The main role of the Secretary-Treasurer is to monitor and guide AAPOR’s financial health and wellbeing.  AAPOR’s history has been one of growth, both in membership and funds to support our mission.  In recent years, that trend line has been fairly flat and new fiscal challenges have emerged that put pressure on our financial stability.  In addition to oversight of AAPOR’s finances, the Secretary-Treasurer plays a key role in addressing such challenges by helping forecast the impact of revenue trends, looking for ways to increase revenues, and looking for efficiencies and cost savings in how we run the association.  Recent Secretary-Treasurers, working with the Executive Council, AAPOR management, and committee members, have revamped the finance committee structure, enabling the committee to be more active and effective.  Should I be elected, I would work to ensure we are forward thinking in our fiscal management and that the membership is engaged in this endeavor.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Secretary-Treasurer?
In my professional role, I am responsible for managing the fiscal health of my projects and team.  I prepare and monitor budgets for 40+ projects a year including multi-million dollar studies.  I am responsible for understanding how current and future revenue streams will support my company, my goals, and my staff, and for making course corrections if things deviate from expectations and needs.  I will bring to the role of Associate Secretary-Treasurer both careful attention to the detail of budget specificity and a viewpoint on the bigger picture, working to ensure AAPOR’s long-term financial health. Further, I was fortunate to be on Council when we went through a change in management companies, giving me a historical perspective with which to evaluate our current state and make recommendations that build on AAPOR’s past experiences.  I would be honored to once again serve the AAPOR community!

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Jennifer Agiesta
Jennifer Agiesta is Director of Polling and Election Analytics for CNN, based in Washington. In that capacity, she manages CNN’s polling of the American public and conducts frequent polls of voters in key states in election years. She also heads up the network’s decision desk and exit polling operation.
Jennifer has been an active member of AAPOR since attending her first conference in Phoenix in 2004. She has served on both the communications and membership and chapter relations committees, as well as on several award committees. She is currently the chair of the social media subcommittee, and holds the distinction of having knocked Nate Silver out of the charity Texas Hold ‘Em tournament at the 2015 conference.

Prior to joining CNN, Jennifer ran The Associated Press’s two-person polling unit — writing frequently for the wire while conducting domestic and international survey research covering topics including political, economic and social issues alongside some lighter fare. Jennifer also spent three years as polling analyst at the Washington Post, working closely with the paper’s web staff and its interactives and graphics team.

Jennifer has extensive experience working with exit polling and election race calling, having managed exit poll survey work at both Voter News Service and Edison Research, as well as managing the AP’s Election Night exit poll coverage team. At the Post, she helped develop race calling models that contributed to the paper’s Election Night coverage.

Before making the switch to news polling, Jennifer worked for Belden, Russonello and Stewart as a research analyst and field manager, and earlier at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, learning the ins and outs of campaign and communications polling.

She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (’00), and a native of Long Island who has lived in Washington, D.C. since 2005. In the winter in non-presidential years, you’ll find her on a snowboard or watching her beloved New York Rangers. She spends summers torn between her adopted Nats and her childhood favorites, the Mets.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the position you are running for help to address them?
The world of public opinion research is growing and our practices are changing faster than ever before. AAPOR plays a critical role in providing consumers of opinion research the information and tools they need to understand whether the numbers they’re seeing are trustworthy and real. That’s true whether the consumers are industry insiders who mull the details in AAPOR’s expanded slate of publications on methodology and practice, reporters seeking to explain public opinion clearly and concisely to their readers and viewers or curious members of the public who find us through social media or Google. The communications chairs and committee ensure that AAPOR’s message to the public matches and supports the strong principles behind the code we all uphold.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of the position you are running for?
My 17 years in the research industry – including more than a decade conducting research specifically for the media – developed a set of skills that are well-suited to the role of Associate Communications Chair. I spend my days designing research for public consumption and explaining it to some of the most math-averse people in the world – Journalists! I’ve been involved in AAPOR’s communications and membership committees over the last several years, and have spent the last two as chair of AAPOR’s social media subcommittee. I’m familiar with the channels through which AAPOR communicates with its members and prepared to ensure that all feel connected to the organization in whatever way they prefer. I’m well-versed in the challenges survey researchers face in communicating with a skeptical world, and seek to maintain AAPOR’s position as a voice of authority on all the ways we learn about public opinion in American society.

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Josh De La Rosa
Josh DeLaRosa has a Masters in Applied Social Research from the City University of New York, Queens College.  Over his twelve year career Josh has worked for both public and private organizations including non-profits, government statistical agencies and private research companies. Josh currently works for Abt SRBI as a senior project manager focusing on the design and implementation of household surveys.  Josh also teaches research methods within the Data Analytics and Applied Social Research program at Queens College. Josh is also an active member of the civic data community. His research interests include hard-to-reach populations, the use of emerging technologies to enhance data collection and evidence-based policy making.

Josh joined AAPOR as a student ten years ago and has been active at the national and chapter levels.  For the past two years he has been a member of the Communications Committee. Josh cites AAPOR’s communication mechanisms, including Public Opinion Quarterly, Survey Practice, listserv and newsletter as key tools that have contributed to his professional development.  With his background and appreciation for AAPOR’s communication tools, Josh feels that he has the appropriate skill set to serve as the Associate Communication Chair.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the position you are running for help to address them?
Interest for public opinion data has continued to increase over the past few years. Policy makers, private clients and the public at large have greater expectations for the data AAPOR members collect and analyze. However, the cost to produce valid and reliable public opinion data has also increased rapidly over time. I believe practitioners look to AAPOR to be proactive in facilitating and disseminating timely information relevant to our practice. If elected as the Associate Communication Chair, the Communications Committee and I will work with the other AAPOR committees and local chapters to keep members updated.  This includes the latest information regarding public opinion, research methodology and the AAPOR organization itself. Along with our current communication tools, I will explorer opportunities to leverage new methods of keeping members informed.

In addition to supporting AAPOR’s communication efforts to it’s members, as the Associate Communication Chair I will work with our members to meet AAPOR’s mission of educating the general public on how to get the most out of surveys and survey findings.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of the position you are running for?
AAPOR is comprised of members from a wide range of organizations, disciplines and backgrounds. My experience working in both the public and private sectors as well as small and large organizations has given me a well-rounded understanding of the different perspectives of members within AAPOR. With this understand I aim to tailor AAPOR’s commutations to its members needs. My background with AAPOR’s traditional communication tools as well as my professional experience utilizing emerging technologies would also enable me to enhance AAPOR’s communication capabilities.

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Liz Hamel
Liz Hamel is Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.  She has been part of the Foundation’s public opinion team for over 15 years, overseeing quantitative and qualitative research projects on a wide range of health policy issues, including people’s experiences in the health care system, opinions of health reform, the role of health care in elections, and attitudes and experiences with health insurance.  She also oversees survey projects conducted with the Foundation’s media partners, including The Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times, and NPR. As part of the Foundation’s public opinion team, her work aims to give the public a voice in health policy debates, especially those whose voices are often underrepresented like the uninsured, lower-income Americans, and members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Liz’s work has appeared in International Journal of Public Opinion Research; Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law; and Columbia Journalism Review. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University.

Liz has been an active member of AAPOR since 2002, and served on Council as Membership and Chapter Relations Chair in 2012-2013. Her proudest accomplishments from her time as MCR Chair include strengthening communications between AAPOR chapters and increasing the MCR Committee’s outreach to and supports for students. She is also a proud member of PAPOR (West coast shout out!) and served as PAPOR President in 2006 and Conference Chair in 2010. Liz lives in San Francisco with her husband and 3 energetic children.

Liz writes: “It’s an honor to be nominated to run for the position of Associate Conference Chair. Having attended all but one AAPOR conference since 2002, I have benefited immensely from the information-sharing, professional support, and fellowship I’ve experienced at the conference each year. Having worked closely with previous conference chairs, I have a great appreciation for all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting this conference together, and would welcome the chance to serve AAPOR by bringing my ideas and energy to the table to continue the tradition of an engaging, impactful annual conference.”
What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Conference Chair help to address them?
The biggest challenge facing our field is the decline in public trust in survey research, which pre-dated but was accelerated by the perceived polling “misses” in predicting the results of the Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election. Our field is also at a time of incredible opportunity, with technology facilitating the development of a host of new methods for measuring the public’s attitudes, opinions, and behaviors. The AAPOR Conference Chair can help address both the challenges and opportunities by designing a conference program that appeals to the broad spectrum of AAPOR members and non-members – including survey methodologists, political scientists, students, government researchers, data scientists, field house directors, and many others. By serving as a “meeting place” to bring these different perspectives together, the AAPOR conference provides the best opportunity for the sharing of information that helps all of us in the field address these challenges and embrace these opportunities.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Conference Chair?
The biggest asset I would bring to this role is my previous service on AAPOR Council as Membership and Chapter Relations Chair. In that role, I interacted with AAPOR members from diverse backgrounds and across every region of the country, learning what various constituencies were looking to get out of their AAPOR membership. As MCR Chair, I was also responsible for managing a large committee with multiple subcommittees, and for coordinating with the Conference Committee to plan various aspects of member outreach and engagement at the conference. This experience will help me build a conference program that can meet the needs of a wide range of attendees to ensure the conference continues to have broad appeal and relevance. Having served as PAPOR conference chair, I also have an appreciation for the various components that go into planning a successful (albeit much smaller) conference.

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Courtney Kennedy
Courtney Kennedy has been an AAPOR member for 17 years and participated in all of the annual conferences during that time. She has been honored to serve AAPOR in a number of capacities. She served on the Standards Committee from 2010 to 2016 and was chair of that committee from 2013-2014. During that time, she worked heavily on the Transparency Initiative. Courtney has served on several AAPOR task forces (2010 Opt-in Online report, 2008 and 2010 Cell Phone reports), and she is currently chairing the ad hoc committee reviewing 2016 pre-election polls. Courtney has also volunteered her time to AAPOR in various years by serving on the Conference Committee, Nominations Committee, Book Award Committee and AAPOR Award Committee.

Courtney is director of survey research at Pew Research Center. In this role, she serves as the chief survey methodologist for the Center, providing guidance on all of its research and leading its methodology work. Prior to joining Pew Research Center, she served as vice president of the advanced methods group at Abt SRBI, where she was responsible for designing complex surveys, developing data collection methodologies and assessing data quality. Her work has been published in Public Opinion Quarterly, the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology and the Journal of Official Statistics. Kennedy has a doctorate from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, both in survey methodology. She received bachelor’s degrees in political science and statistics from the University of Michigan.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the position you are running for help to address them?
One of the greatest challenges for the field is figuring out how we can conduct accurate and reliable surveys online. This is a tremendous challenge with respect to sample design, measurement and weighting. Another challenge is, of course, overcoming the general decline in the public’s willingness to take surveys. A third challenge is ensuring that our country has a robust, high-quality federal statistical system. The first two of those challenges are issues that we collectively explore during our annual conference. As conference chair I would work to encourage research and discussion of those topics, and I would seek to give critical studies a prominent place within the conference agenda. The conference is a wonderful opportunity for members to share knowledge about these challenges. One of the things I love most about AAPOR is the culture of sharing knowledge – even among colleagues who may happen to work for competing organizations.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of the position you are running for?
Being a successful Council member, especially as Conference Chair, requires working well with a team of AAPOR volunteers and with the management company, Kellen. My prior service on Council, as well as on various task forces and committees, has equipped me with that set of skills and experience. In addition, my position as director of survey research at Pew Research Center keeps me active in both substantive public opinion research and methodological work. So I have a fairly good handle on the landscape of substantive and methodological issues that people like to learn about when they come to the annual conference.

Finally, I have a deep affinity for the conference and its social and professional function in our lives. I’ve looked forward to attending the conference every year for close to 20 years now. I remember some of the high points (the Arianna Huffington plenary, lectures by Jurgen Habermas) and the not so high points (plenaries that seemed to run until midnight, Anaheim – generally anything to do with going to Anaheim). I also have a deep affinity for Canada, where our conference will be held when the person you elect this year will be chair. Growing up in Michigan 40 min. from the Ambassador Bridge, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Canada and would truly enjoy an opportunity to organize a conference with our neighbors to the north.

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Matt Jans
Greetings fellow AAPORites! I’m excited about the opportunity to serve as Associate Education Chair for AAPOR! For those of you who don’t know me, I am a survey methodologist with over 15 years of experience in survey design, implementation, and survey methodology research (and AAPOR member since 2002). I currently serve on the AAPOR Communications committee, and was an early member of the Membership and Chapter Relations Committee representing the needs of survey methodology students. I have also served as Secretary and Membership chair for DC-AAPOR, and I am currently a member of PAPOR. Finally, I am part of AAPOR’s Cross-cultural and Multilingual Research and GAYPOR affinity groups. You may have also seen me at a fun run or pub crawl over the years!

Academically-speaking I earned my PhD in Survey Methodology from the Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Michigan, and worked as an Assistant Study Director at UMass Boston prior to graduate school (Go Beacons!). Since we’re talking about education, I also hold a Master's degrees from UMass Boston in Critical and Creative Thinking, and another from Boston College's Lynch School of Education in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology. My Bachelor’s degree was in Psychology (from Central Michigan University).

Currently I am the survey methodologist for the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), located at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Prior to that I was a Social Science Analyst (i.e., survey methodologist) at the US Census Bureau.

But what do I know about survey methodology training, other than receiving a lot of it? Most recently, I have been teaching Data Collection Methods courses for the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM) and International Program in Survey and Data Sciences (IPSDS). I have also taught a very different course, Methods of Data Collection, for UConn’s Graduate Program in Survey Research (GPSR), and introductory statistics courses for social and behavioral sciences at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). All of these courses have been online. I hope you can attend my AAPOR 2017 conference short course on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) measurement in May!

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Education Chair help to address them?
The past few years have been dynamic for us, and we now face a “war of facts” in popular culture. This parallels the paradigm-shift we’ve seen in the use of “big data” and “data science” to answer questions that were once done by surveys. I believe we should embrace this change, but we need a strong educational presence to see us through it.

I will amplify the amazing infrastructure already set in motion by Education Chairs before me. Our short courses and webinars set AAPOR apart as a leader in “good thinking about data, statistics, and facts.” Specifically, I will develop or update courses on data science, big data, mode effects (including multi-mode survey design and estimation), and interpreting polls and statistics. Finally, as we are a field of “doers,” I will encourage more courses on project management, statistical workflow, and similar everyday aspects of our work.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Education Chair?
Put simply, I aim to be a “translator” between the various sectors of our field. Many of us can teach statistics to social scientists (and vice versa), but it is essential if we expect the Education Chair is to reach our full membership. My research ranges from nonresponse to measurement error, including human-computer interaction, interviewer effects, and reaching hard-to-survey populations. My academic and government experiences, and my numerous colleagues in the private sector offer a broad industry perspective that will help me serve you well.

More personally, I have a deep passion for training and instruction in statistics and methodology. I taught my first research methods course in 2002 and immediately saw how important this topic is for all sectors of society. I look forward to the chance to share my passion and experiences with you, and to help develop the bright and vibrant community that we call AAPOR!

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Kyley McGeeney
Kyley McGeeney is Senior Director, Survey Methods at PSB Research. In this role she serves as a methodology consultant to researchers company-wide and works closely with the firm’s Census Bureau team. She’ll also be working to design the firm’s 2018 likely voter screens and modeling.

McGeeney’s expertise includes overall research design, pre-election polling, sampling, questionnaire design, data collection protocol, weighting and analysis, and new survey technologies. She is currently a member of the AAPOR Education Committee and Chair of the AAPOR Online Education Subcommittee, which coordinates all AAPOR webinars. She is also a member of the AAPOR Standards Committee and a member of the AAPOR Pre-Election Polling Task Force, convened to examine the performance of polls in the 2016 presidential election.

Her past work includes Pew Research Center reports “Why 2016 Election Polls Missed Their Mark” and “From Telephone to the Web: The Challenge of Mode of Interview Effects in Public Opinion Polls” as well as Gallup’s 2012 Presidential Election Polling Review, analyzing why Gallup’s 2012 presidential prediction was inaccurate. She is co-author of numerous publications, studying online panels, examining the use of technology for surveys (mobile, texting, apps) as well as reviewing more traditional telephone survey methods.

Prior to joining PSB, McGeeney has nearly a decade of experience as a methodologist at Pew Research Center and at Gallup. McGeeney is a graduate of The New School, and she earned her Master of Professional Studies degree in Applied Statistics at Cornell University. In addition to AAPOR, McGeeney is also member of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR), DC-AAPOR, European Survey Research Association (ESRA), ESOMAR, Washington Statistical Society (WSS) and Insights Association.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Education Chair help to address them?
Survey research faces numerous challenges, including questions about pre-election poll accuracy, declining response rates and rising costs. However there are also a number of opportunities for our field as well.

There’s been a proliferation of new ways to reach respondents, such as nonprobability web panels and river sampling. There have been parallel advances in sampling, adjustment and modeling techniques, such as machine learning and multi-level regression and post-stratification (MrP). We’ve also made strides in measuring public opinion without using surveys, for example scraping and analyzing social media data. 

But researchers can’t leverage these innovations without education. The Associate Education Chair needs to know the challenges and opportunities in survey research. They can help members navigate these changes by providing educational opportunities focused on understanding and implementing new research methods while also working to ensure that traditional methods are as rigorous as possible.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Education Chair?
As Associate Education Chair I will bring my results-oriented approach to the entire education committee. As Chair of the Online Education Subcommittee I created the 2016 and 2017 webinar schedules using member feedback and past performance data, increasing revenue by 35%. Webinar topics focused on innovations, such as web surveys and data science, without neglecting traditional methods such as telephone surveys.

We also finalized the 2017 webinar schedule in 2016. This allowed us to introduce a discounted annual subscription option. It also permitted a marketing blitz including earlier email and social media campaigns, ads in POQ, and promotion by AAPOR chapters, partner organizations and during AAPOR conference sessions.

My current position has also allowed me to work closely with AAPOR staff. They have taught me a great deal about what works for webinars. I will use this information and close working relationships to further improve all educational offerings for members.

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Emily Geisen
Emily Geisen a survey methodologist at RTI where she manages RTI’s cognitive/usability laboratory. She also teaches a graduate course on Questionnaire Design at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. Emily received her BA in Psychology and Statistics from Mount Holyoke College and received her MS in Survey Methodology in 2004 from the University of Michigan’s Program in Survey Methodology where she was an Angus Campbell fellow. While attending the University of Michigan, she also worked at the Institute for Social Research.

 She specializes in designing and evaluating survey instruments to improve data quality and reduce respondent burden. She is lead author of a book titled Usability Testing for Survey Research that will be published by Morgan Kaufmann in March 2017. Emily is currently serving AAPOR as the Membership and Chapter Relations (MCR) Communications sub-chair. She also taught a short course at the 2016 AAPOR conference on usability testing. She has also taught short courses at SAPOR, the International Conference on Questionnaire, Design, Development, Evaluation and Testing (QDET2), and UNC’s Odum Institute. Her prior service experience outside of AAPOR includes serving as the conference chair for the 2010 Southern Association for Public Opinion Research (SAPOR) and as secretary of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association from 2009 to 2011.

What are the challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Membership & Chapter Relations Chair help to key address them?
One of the main challenges and opportunities for AAPOR right now is demonstrating the value of public opinion research to those outside of our field. This is predicated on our ability to continue producing high quality, reliable data that is relevant, timely, and affordable. To do this we must have high standards, but also remain flexible and embrace innovation and change as required to meet today’s survey needs.

 As Membership & Chapter Relations Chair, my goal will be to continue promoting AAPOR’s goal of diversity and inclusion not only in terms of membership demographics and background, but also of ideas and opinions for addressing our biggest challenges. This means moving beyond just tolerance of those with different opinions, but actively working to embrace new ideas and differences to achieve a common goal.  

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Membership & Chapter Relations Chair?
My experience both as MCR Communications sub-chair and SAPOR conference chair have helped to prepare me. Through these positions, I have experience with strategies for increasing and diversifying the membership as well as designing and implementing a membership survey. In addition, my enthusiasm for AAPOR, its members, and the work we do will also be an asset in this role.

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Gretchen McHenry
Gretchen McHenry is a survey methodologist at RTI International. She has worked in various positions at RTI, both in methodology and field work, for almost a decade. She has a Master’s degree in sociology from North Carolina State University and a certificate in survey methodology from the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on questionnaire design, measurement of substance abuse and mental health issues, and accurate measurement of LGBTQ populations. Gretchen served as the Vice Conference Chair of SAPOR in 2012 and as Conference Chair in 2013. She joined the AAPOR Membership and Chapter Relations Committee in 2013. As part of her service on MCR, she founded the Volunteer Coordination Subcommittee. This subcommittee created a process by which members can make their desire to serve on committees or task forces known and the committee communicates information from interested volunteers to the Executive Council and committee chairs. The subcommittee plays an important role in helping AAPOR reach its goals regarding diversity in leadership and in allowing committee chairs to replace outgoing members with interested and competent volunteers. Gretchen rejoined MCR for her second three-year term in 2016. She currently chairs the Volunteer Coordination Subcommittee and serves on the Roper and Student Travel Awards subcommittee. She also recently served on the Events Committee for QDET2, where she organized scientific and social events to engage conference attendees. She has regularly authored papers presented at AAPOR and other regional, national, and international conferences.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the position you are running for help to address them? 
Because of the diversity across our field, both in terms of the work we do and the people who do it, AAPOR has a unique challenge in being a “big tent” that meets the needs of the wide variety of professionals and students in our membership. MCR and its leadership have pushed for greater diversity across AAPOR membership and committees in recent years. By consciously brining new and different people into membership, we have a more complete perspective on emerging challenges. Any incoming MCR leadership should continue that push and use their position to be the point person for any membership concerns, particularly concerns from members who may not feel like they have a voice in the larger organization. MCR has the privilege and the challenge of being the poles that hold up our big tent and I look forward to supporting our membership as we continue to grow.
How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of the position you are running for? 
With four years of service on MCR, I am very familiar with the internal workings of the committee. MCR is a large committee with many members and several active subcommittees. I am constantly impressed by how independently these subcommittees work. Committee leadership requires strong attention to detail and organizational skill to guarantee all pieces of MCR operate as needed. I’ve demonstrated those skills by organizing the SAPOR annual meeting in 2013, planning events for QDET2, and chairing an MCR subcommittee. MCR’s mandate also covers a variety of duties. Seeing how that mandate fits with larger AAPOR goals and can be carried out through MCR’s daily work requires a proactive leadership style. I’ve demonstrated that drive with the steps I’ve taken over the last few years to create AAPOR’s current volunteer process and structure. I hope to continue in leadership where I will be able to help realize AAPOR goals through MCR’s work.

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Charles DiSogra is a survey methodologist and statistical consultant. He has over 30 years of diverse and broad experience in survey research, sample design, data analysis, and research management.  His more recent research and focus have been in the areas of probability-based panels, address-based sampling, and statistical blending techniques using non-probability sourced data. Charles was formerly a senior vice president and chief survey scientist at Abt SRBI where he headed the Data Science and Advanced Analytics Group playing a key advisory role in the establishment of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. Before Abt SRBI, Charles was chief statistician and senior vice president at GfK/Knowledge Networks (GfK/KN) leading the design to achieve full ABS recruitment of their pioneering probability-based KnowledgePanel.  Before GfK/KN, he had been a vice president and senior research consultant at the former Field Research Corporation in San Francisco.  Previously, at the request of the University of California Office of the President, he served to direct their peer-review, statewide tobacco-related disease research grant program. Prior to that, Charles was a senior scientist and an associate director at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. He joined UCLA to be the founding director of the California Health Interview Survey, the largest on-going telephone health survey in the country. His earlier career involved consulting in a number of survey research studies for government, academic and commercial organizations.  Charles was also the founding director of the California Cancer Registry’s telephone survey research laboratory where he subsequently became the director of California’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.

He is currently the chair of the Applied Public Health Statistics Section of the American Public Health Association and a member of the American Statistical Association’s Survey Methods Group.  He served as a member of AAPOR’s Cellphone Task Group.  DiSogra holds a B.A. in biology from Marist College, a master's degree in public health education and a doctorate in nutritional epidemiology with an emphasis in biostatistics and public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Standards Chair help to address them?
The credibility of reporting public opinion has been seriously diminished by the current perception of inaccuracy from recent election polls.  This is exacerbated by the channeling of bad or misinterpreted survey data into streams of fake news and manipulated political marketing.  Truth itself has become suspect, its messengers maligned.  Methods for capturing public opinion are in a period of transition while reliable methods of the past remain on prolonged life support. Traditionally, the Standards Committee has codified those methods but the rapidly changing communications and technological environment is outpacing the ability to establish what should be the appropriate methodologies for measuring public opinion.  The newer sources of data and/or those that correlate with the movement of opinions are emerging with no established standards to assure veracity and generalizability. I believe, as associate chair, opening the discussion to address these challenges is a vital role for the Standards Committee to fulfill.
How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Standards Chair?
With over 30 years of experience witnessing the good, the bad and the ugly in survey research, I feel prepared to handle this job.  That is, I believe I know what “good” is or should be and the standards established by AAPOR embody that.  Accurate measurement and truthful communication are permanently linked passions of mine.  The nuances of measurement that are the interface of behavioral psychology, cognitive science, social values and communication technologies are fields I have immersed myself in with abandon.  Theses include the underpinnings of the aesthetics of human and human machine interaction as well as the statistical sciences that address the probabilistic interpretations of data. I have attempted to master these in my broad and varied career experiences and continue to pursue them as newer knowledge becomes available. Additionally, I enjoy and revel in the exploration and discovery of ideas with colleagues that share this passion.

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Stephanie Eckman
Stephanie Eckman is a Fellow at RTI International, specializing in the combination of survey and geospatial data. She earned her PhD in survey methodology from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. Stephanie has been a member of the Standards Committee for 3 years and is also a member of the Response Rate Calculator Subcommittee. Her service also includes co-chairing the international TSE15 conference in September 2015 and working as DC-AAPOR program chair in 2016. Before joining RTI in 2015, she worked for five years at the Institute for Employment Research in Germany. She has taught survey methodology and statistics around the world. Her research interests include coverage error in household surveys and measurement error due to motivated misreporting.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Associate Standards Chair help to address them?
Respondent confidentiality is a core issue in the AAPOR Code of Ethics, and we all strive to protect our respondents. However, new data sources such as passive data collected from cell phones and administrative data merged into our survey data can make it harder to ensure confidentiality; the techniques that we have used in the past to protect respondents’ identities may no longer work. For example, new reverse geocoding technology can be used to uncover the location of patients’ homes use from published disease incidence maps (http://goo.gl/9n9gSD) and standard anonymization techniques do not always work (http://goo.gl/j4t3Ojhttp://goo.gl/BZWtCb). As Associate Standards Chair, I will help AAPOR members understand that our traditional methods of guarding respondent confidentiality may require revision when we combine survey data with other data sources, why that is, and how we can protect ourselves and our respondents.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Associate Standards Chair?
The job of Associate Standard Chair, and later Standards Chair, involves representing the views of AAPOR members while also enforcing the Code of Ethics that we all adhere to. My career has involved work in industry, government, and academia, as well as several years outside of the US, living in Germany and consulting for the World Bank. I have conducted survey research in many different environments and for varied clients. Thus I can represent the diverse views of all AAPOR members on the Standards Committee and on the AAPOR Executive Council.

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Chase Harrison
Chase Harrison has more than 25 years of survey research experience across a variety of settings, including academic, commercial, government, international, and nonprofit research.  

For the past ten years he has been at Harvard University, currently serving as Associate Director of the Program on Survey Research in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) and Preceptor in Survey Research in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  In these roles, Chase teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on survey research, and advises researchers on appropriate survey approaches. 

He began his research career at Market Strategies, Inc., where he specialized on large academic and health-care projects.  Chase then moved to the University of Connecticut, where he worked as Research Associate at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and then as Chief Methodologist for the university’s Center for Survey Research and Analysis.  In that capacity, Chase was responsible for sampling and field protocols for all center projects and worked with clients in nonprofit and government organizations to design and implement surveys.

Chase was fortunate to benefit from wonderful mentoring early in his career, and is especially proud of the number of young researchers he has trained and mentored over the years at the University of Connecticut, Harvard University, and other settings.   He is honored to have helped many non-survey-researchers become passionate consumers of survey data.

Chase has also served as Principal Survey Methodologist and Director of Research Computing at the Harvard Business School, where he was responsible for leading a team of quantitative researchers and data and computer scientists in a variety of disciplines to provide a range of core computational and social science research services.   He also serves as Faculty Fellow at the US Department of Transportation Volpe Research Center.  Chase has served as a consultant to a variety of corporate, media, and government clients.

In AAPOR, Chase has been particularly active in the Membership and Chapter Relations Committee. As President, he helped reorganize the New England AAPOR Chapter.  He received his MA in Political Science (Concentration in Survey Research) and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut.   
What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Councilor at Large help to address them?
Designing and conducting survey research is as technical and specialized as flying an airplane.  Yet, though no amateur would think of flying an airplane, many eagerly design and analyze their own surveys.  New technologies, such as easy-to-use survey design platforms and the seeming super-abundance of data – “big data,” observational data, accidental data – contribute to this problem. 

One role for a councilor-at-large is to advance projects to increase recognition of survey research as a distinct expertise equivalent to other professions such as medicine, accounting, or law.  This includes advocating for the increased professionalization of our field.  Another role is to increase engagement and understanding between survey experts and experts in other data sciences.  A third way is to help content experts  and the general public understand how to recognize survey data quality, and to work to create more informed and discriminating consumers and commissioners of survey and opinion data.
How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Councilor at Large?
For the past ten years at Harvard I have served as an advocate and bridge to different communities.  I have focused on increasing both expertise in survey research and appreciating the benefits of good survey data – and the limitations of bad data from poor surveys.  This has included researchers in numerous academic specializations, as well as researchers in a range of settings including corporate, government, non-profit, and international settings.   

I work with researchers with widely different approaches to research and inference.  I have learned how to understand the ways that different disciplines and communities look at research, and understand how to advocate for survey approaches, as well as to make intellectual and resource connections.  As councilor-at-large, I bring an understanding of how to engage different communities with survey data, survey methods, and survey quality. 

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David Wilson
David Christopher Wilson is Associate Dean for the Social Sciences at the University of Delaware, and a Professor in the departments of Political Science and Internal Relations, and Psychological and Brain Sciences. He is also the Coordinator of Public Opinion Initiatives at the University’s Center for Political Communication. Prior to his appointment at UD, David was a consultant/trainer for the SPSS statistical software company, and held senior research positions with the Gallup Polling Organization in Washington, DC.

David has been actively engaged with many professional associations and advisory boards. He has an extensive publication and scholarship record. His research, teaching, and professional activities cover survey research methods, public opinion experiments, political psychology, racial attitudes, and American politics. He has been a strong supporter of AAPOR serving in many roles including sitting on the editorial board for Public Opinion Quarterly; serving on the Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Book Committees; and being a past recipient of AAPOR’s Burns Roper conference fellowship. In 2004, his paper won the PAPOR Graduate student paper competition.

David is also a military veteran having served 19 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, including combat tours for Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He spends his spare traveling, mountain hiking, road bike cycling, and playing racquetball. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Western Kentucky University, a joint MPA degree in public policy analysis and urban studies, and a PhD in political science, from Michigan State University.

What are the key challenges and opportunities facing our field, and how can the Councilor at Large help to address them?
Our strongest challenges center on preparing for future waves of survey researchers, and public consumers of survey data. As trained experts, we must improve the coordination of academic programs that facilitate a pipeline to our industry (e.g., through internships, industrial post-docs, youth summer training programs, and other initiatives that expose and engage apsirants to the excellent work we do. We can especially thrive toward more creative and planned activites that increase the racial-ethnic diversity of our field. Also, we need more technological innovations to help the public become better consumers of survey and polling information. Finally, the field needs to increase and improve “data-sharing” partnerships designed mirror the innovation R&D labs in other scientific industries; particularly collaborations with academic and non-profit institutions. Without a traditional set of delinated duties, the Coucilor at Large role can spur these opportunities by collecting, sharing, and engaging new ideas.

How does your background and experience prepare you to handle the job of Councilor at Large?
I am able to share strategies, ideas, and lessons from my professional experiences, including having been a commerical survey researcher at Gallup, serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, and working in the academic arena as an administrator and faculty member (and graduate student who attended AAPOR conferences). Above all, I care a great deal about the role of public opinion, and the science behind its meaning, in civic life. My most important attribute is my energy and enthusasim to give back to the AAPOR organization, and survey research industry, that helped to shape my success. I relish being a part of a leadership team whose responsiblities include service, engagement, and action; and I hope to bring a diverse perspective to the Council.

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