Tom W. Smith

Senior Fellow Tom Smith directs NORC's Center for the Study of Politics and Society. Since 1980, he has served as Director of the General Social Survey (GSS), one of NORC's most visible projects and one of the nation's most heavily utilized datasets. He is also co-founder of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), former Secretary General of the ISSP, and currently serving on the ISSP Standing and Methodology Committees.

He is frequently consulted and quoted by the news media on such diverse topics as American sexual behavior, intergroup relations, confidence in institutions, happiness, religion, guns, and voter behavior.

Smith is a prolific writer, analyzing and publishing the results of his studies in peer-reviewed journals and NORC-published reports aimed at students, scholars, and policy makers. He serves as a referee for several peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of Sociology, Health Affairs, and Demography, and he is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. Smith was editor-in-chief of Public Opinion Quarterly from 2012 to 2016.

In addition to his extensive publication and public speaking record, Smith has been the recipient of the following awards: Worcester Prize, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 1994; AAPOR Innovators Award, 2000 and 2003; AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement, 2002; Eastern Sociological Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to Sociology, 2003; Demographic Diamond Designate, American Demographics, 2003; American Sociological Association Travel Award for World Congress of Sociology, 2010; Best Publication by an International Scholar, American Sociological Association Section on Global and Transnational Sociology, 2010; the Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences, ICPSR/The University of Michigan, 2011; and the AAPOR Book Award, 2013. 

Smith was appointed to serve on the Panel on the Review and Evaluation of the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation Content and Design of the National Academy of Sciences. In August 2014, Tom was elected to the Sociological Research Association (SRA), an honor society of leading sociological scholars.

Tom W. Smith is the first recipient of NORC at the University of Chicago’s Norman Bradburn Career Achievement Award. The award was established to recognize individuals who, through the course of working for NORC, have made a significant contribution to the field of social science research or methodology. For the past 37 years, Smith has been the director of the General Social Survey, one of NORC's most visible projects and one of the nation's most heavily utilized datasets. Smith also directs NORC's Center for the Study of Politics and Society.