Michael Reynolds is Senior Vice President and Director of the Academic Research Centers (ARC). Associated with NORC since 1997 and trained as a sociologist, Reynolds leads the ARC, but also serves as Project Director, working on both quantitative and qualitative social science research projects, primarily in the education and health fields. Reynolds' work has also included a large portfolio of international studies.
As Director of the ARC, Reynolds is responsible for maintaining and deepening collaborations between NORC and faculty and researchers at the University of Chicago, as well as at other academic institutions. He works to build bridges to connect U of C faculty, primarily those interested in empirical research, to colleagues across NORC’s in a number of substantive departments. In his current role, Reynolds and his ARC colleagues are working to translate research into practice by developing partnerships with implementing entities, and exploring new ways to effectively use basic research to drive program design as well as monitor and evaluate data driven interventions.
In the Academic Research Centers, Reynolds also serves as Project Director or task leader for a number of early childhood development and education studies including the Perry Preschool Midlife Health Study; two IDB funded projects that monitor and evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfers in Honduras that targets low income mothers and their children in rural areas across the country; a household survey of childcare needs of low income families in Oakland, California intended to inform Rainin Foundation program interventions, and the Getting on Track (the development and validation of oral language and math diagnostic tools for 3 and 4 year olds). Internationally, Reynolds has led several of NORC's evaluations of agricultural, education, and health interventions in a number of developing countries including Honduras, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, and Benin. Reynolds taught at the Brazilian National University of Para in the Brazilian Amazon, and conducted research in Brazil for 6 years, examining the effects of migration and development on communities at the "edges" of the Amazon.
In addition to his experience in gathering and analyzing quantitative data, Reynolds is trained as an ethnographer and has conducted qualitative field research in sites as diverse as Chicago inner-city neighborhoods to Brazilian gold mines in the Amazon. He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French.