Dan Gaylin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NORC at the University of Chicago. Working closely with NORC’s Board of Trustees and senior leaders, he is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s strategic vision, daily operations, research agenda, and client offerings.
NORC is an objective, non-partisan, global research institute. With 2,600 employees, its primary offices are in Chicago and the Washington DC area, with multiple regional locations throughout the United States. The organization conducts approximately $225 million in research each year for government, nonprofit, and business clients in the United States and in over 50 countries around the world. NORC’s work touches on the full range of human experience including economics and the workforce, education and learning, international development, health and well-being, and society and public affairs. Founded in 1941, NORC has a long-standing reputation for scientific rigor and innovative leadership in advancing the methods, scope, and accessibility of modern research.
Gaylin, who brings 30 years of experience spanning government, private consulting, and not-for-profit research organizations, joined NORC in 2000. He is a nationally recognized expert in program evaluation, with a particular focus on health policy. A hallmark of his work has been leadership of many long-term, multimillion dollar projects that combine primary data collection and analysis, analysis of existing data, and the use of qualitative research methods to gather and distill complex information into recommendations for improving policy, programs, and practice. He led the development of the congressionally mandated evaluation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and directed several major patient care demonstration evaluations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Prior to joining NORC, Gaylin served as a Senior Advisor for Research and Planning at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Health Policy, in which he managed a portfolio of research projects designed to inform Secretarial-level policy initiatives. In addition, he was co-chair of the Prescription Drug Task Force that developed detailed information on prescription drug utilization, costs, and access in a special report to the White House. He also chaired an HHS-wide workgroup consisting of all of the HHS Agency Directors who reported to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on research coordination and planning within and across each of the HHS agencies.
Gaylin has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Health Affairs. Guided by a deep passion for the effective dissemination of research, Gaylin co-founded The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at NORC, an innovative partnership between NORC and The Associated Press (AP), one of the world’s largest media organizations. In that role, he was co-author of the Center’s first study, Civil Liberties and Security: 10 Years after 9/11.
Gaylin is a frequent speaker both nationally and internationally on issues related to effective use of data and information to inform decision-making, the democratization of data, data transparency, and data literacy. Central to these presentations is the importance of data quality and the imperative to keep the needs of people, communities, and civil society at the center of data collection and analysis in a rapidly growing and evolving digital world.
He holds an MPA in Health Policy and Quantitative Analysis from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, with an undergraduate degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania.