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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Paul J. Lavrakas Honored with 2019 AAPOR Award

CHICAGO, IL, May 18, 2019 – The winner of the 2019 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement is Paul J. Lavrakas. This award is the Association’s lifetime achievement award. It is given for an outstanding contribution to the field of public opinion research, including advances in theory, empirical research and methods; improvements in ethical standards; and promotion of understanding among the public, media and/or policy makers.
Paul J. Lavrakas’ contributions to the field of survey and opinion research are multifaceted. In academia, the public and private sectors, and AAPOR and its chapters, Paul has provided exceptional creativity, leadership, and mentorship to the profession for four decades.
Paul’s contributions to advancing survey methodology are numerous and significant. As a leading methodologist in telephone surveying, he brought the Total Survey Error perspective to identifying best practices in telephone methodology. Paul then expanded his focus to experimentation with online panels, including the publication of Online Panel Research: A Data Quality Perspective. His recent work has included promoting systematic approaches to qualitative methods. The impressive breath of his research contributions span telephone sampling, reducing and investigating nonresponse, improving data quality, and interviewer training.  He helped advance dual frame RDD sampling methods, introduced those methods to Australia and Japan, and helped establish Australia’s first probability-based online panel.
Beyond his research contributions, he has worked to broaden understanding of survey research among non-specialists and students. His Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods is an indispensable reference for many in the profession. His co-authored Voter’s Guide to Election Polls has been a handy guide for journalists and a staple of college courses for three decades.
Paul’s service includes a variety of leadership roles within AAPOR and MAPOR, including their presidencies, and being an original co-author of Standard Definitions, for which he shared the 2003 AAPOR Innovator’s Award. Leveraging his research and service experience, he led three AAPOR task forces and helped bring other task forces and conferences on advanced survey methods to fruition.
Paul has been known throughout his career for his generosity and effectiveness as a mentor. As founding faculty director of Northwestern University’s Survey Laboratory and Ohio State University’s Center for Survey Research, as Chief Research Methodologist at Nielsen, and at AAPOR conferences, Paul has volunteered his time and expertise to help the next generation of survey researchers thrive. For these contributions the American Association for Public Opinion Research is pleased to present the 2019 Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement to Dr. Paul J. Lavrakas.