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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Profile: Mollyann Brodie

Brodie.jpegHaving established her reputation as a public opinion expert over the course of the past 20+ years, Molly Brodie plays two big roles at the Kaiser Family Foundation. As Executive Director of Public Opinion and Survey Research, her work focuses on understanding public knowledge of health care policy issues and the role of opinion and personal experiences in policy debates. Immediately after finishing her PhD in Health Policy in 1995, Molly joined the Foundation as its first public opinion specialist and grew the department that now designs, conducts and disseminates dozens of major policy-oriented surveys annually. In addition to overseeing all of the KFF’s polling, in her role as Senior Vice President for Executive Operations Molly is responsible for all executive operations of the Foundation and serves as liaison to its Board of Trustees.

Molly has a long history with AAPOR; her involvement began in 1995 when she won the AAPOR Student Paper Competition, and she has been an active and engaged member and one of AAPOR’s biggest champions ever since. In her 2016 AAPOR Presidential Address, Molly put out a call to action for AAPOR members to work on increasing diversity in the organization’s ranks, and particularly among its leaders, by paying more attention to inclusion in their own work. She said, “I believe that to help protect our industry, our role in society, and our vibrant AAPOR community, we must pay deliberate attention to who is in and who isn’t; to who is participating and who is not; to who our leaders are and who is sitting on the sidelines.” This call to action led to the development and implementation of a multi-pronged effort to increase diversity across the AAPOR community that is being overseen by Executive Council through the newly formed Diversity Coordinating Committee.

In her own life and work, Molly is most proud of and most inspired by her work around mentorship and support for students and those early on in their public opinion careers. Molly never misses an opportunity to give someone a “leg up” when a young scholar or survey practitioner reaches out for advice. Within AAPOR, she’s always on the lookout for “future AAPOR presidents” and does what she can to encourage these individuals to get involved, contribute to the organization, and move up the AAPOR ranks. 

Two fun things about Molly: 1) While she is incredibly disciplined when it comes to her work, she loses all control when it comes to her dog Charlie, who has Molly wrapped around her finger. 2) Molly is an exercise fanatic. While some people’s idea of a vacation is relaxing on a beach with a good book, Molly’s vacations usually involve a 7-day bike ride, a series of 10-mile hikes, or a trek across the wilderness.