Dr. Melissa Deckman to serve as new CEO; Dr. Robert P. Jones to transition to Founder and President
For more than a decade, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has explored and illuminated America’s changing religious, cultural, and political landscape through independent public opinion research with high media impact. The organization’s nonpartisan, independent research helps journalists, scholars, clergy, policy makers, and the general public understand demographic and cultural shifts in the United States and how these changes are shaping American politics.
Over the years, PRRI has built a stellar team guided by curiosity, transparency, and rigor. PRRI has also increased its organizational footprint—diversifying its research, expanding its media impact, and broadening its mission to include the development of a pipeline of socially-engaged scholars through the Public Fellows program. In response to this growth, PRRI is expanding its executive leadership team.
Starting July 1, the current Chair of PRRI’s Board, Dr. Melissa Deckman, will step into the role of Chief Executive Officer, leading day-to-day operations. Dr. Deckman has been a trusted member of PRRI’s board since 2013, serving as Chair since 2015. In her new role, Dr. Deckman will steer PRRI’s continued growth around its strategic Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative.
As Dr. Deckman assumes the role of CEO, Dr. Robert P. Jones will continue to serve in a new position as Founder and President, where he will focus on strategic planning and development, research, and public writing.
Dr. Deckman brings to PRRI more than two decades of academic and leadership experience. She previously served as the Louis L. Goldstein Professor of Public Affairs at Washington College, chairing its political science department for the better part of a decade. A nationally recognized and award-winning scholar on religion, gender, and politics, she has published five books, twenty-peer reviewed scholarly articles and countless short-form and invited pieces. Her expertise is sought out by journalists on a regular basis, with her commentary appearing in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Politico, among other outlets.