Trevor Tompson named director of AP-NORC research center

April 25, 2012
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Trevor Tompson
CHICAGO -- Trevor Tompson, global director of polling for The Associated Press, has been named director of the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

In his new position, Tompson will have overall responsibility for managing operations of the AP-NORC Center, which combines the journalistic strength of AP with the social science research power of NORC at the University of Chicago.

Officially launched in August 2011, the AP-NORC Center carries out research projects on issues in which there is a potential for social impact, including education, health care, race, unemployment, aging and poverty. The center provides the greatest possible public awareness of the research results through the unparalleled distribution channels of AP and NORC. It is estimated that information carried by the media platforms of AP reach approximately half the world’s people each day.

In his capacity as global director of polling for AP, Tompson was central in developing the new AP-NORC Center. Its first study explored the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on attitudes about civil liberties in the U.S. A major study now under way explores the views of Americans about energy matters, including energy efficiency, consumption and conservation.

The nonprofit AP-NORC Center receives funding for its studies primarily from philanthropic foundations.

“Trevor’s vision for a research organization that could bridge the best in social science research with world-class journalism was the key idea behind creation of the AP-NORC Center,” said Dan Gaylin, executive vice president of NORC and co-founder with Tompson of the center. “NORC is thrilled to be working with the AP on this important initiative and we have had the pleasure of observing firsthand Trevor’s creativity, energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and keen journalistic instincts. We are delighted that he will devote his full capacity to the AP-NORC Center.”

Mike Oreskes, AP senior managing editor for U.S. news, said: “We view our partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago as an opportunity to create a new model for public surveys by media organizations, combining the highest standards of social science and journalism. No one is better prepared for a leadership role in this task than Trevor Tompson.”

Tompson joins the AP-NORC Center as it begins a period of considerable growth. Plans are under way for new research dealing with key health issues and questions that lie at the intersection of poverty and employment. The center will also convene its scientific advisory panel, led by Paul Lavrakas, vice president and president-elect of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

After joining AP in 2004, Tompson conducted hundreds of surveys in more than a dozen countries, helping AP become a leader in public opinion polling. He is an expert in survey research methodology and has published numerous articles about public opinion and research methods. Tompson is a member of the Executive Council of the World Association for Public Opinion Research and the Standards Committee of AAPOR. He was a member of a special AAPOR task force charged with evaluating and recommending techniques for conducting sample surveys on cellphones.

Prior to his work with AP, Tompson was a research specialist with NORC and held other positions in the survey research field with several universities and research firms. Born in Canada, he is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world's population sees news from AP. On the Web:

About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research organization headquartered in downtown Chicago with additional offices on the UChicago campus, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Atlanta and Boston. With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and businesses to provide data and analysis that support informed decision-making in key areas including health, education, economics, crime, justice, energy, security and the environment. NORC's 70 years of leadership and experience in data collection, analysis and dissemination—coupled with deep subject matter expertise—provides information and analysis that form the foundation for effective solutions.

For further information:

Ray Boyer
NORC Public Affairs

Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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