Paul J. Lavrakas, is a research psychologist and research methodologist. He joined NORC in 2014 as a Senior Fellow. He previously served as a consultant for NORC to help its efforts to be chosen to win renewal for its contract to conduct the National Immunization Survey (NIS). Lavrakas also has served as the Chair of the External Advisory Board for NORC's Center for Public Affairs Research. As it relates to his work at NORC, his expertise includes deep knowledge and extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods, especially survey research methods.
Lavrakas is beginning his work at NORC by helping to identify changes in various research methods to try to bring about greater cost-efficiencies in conducting the NIS. This includes devising experiments to raise response and consent rates, and to lower total survey costs.
Since 2007, Lavrakas has worked as an Independent Consultant for various public and private sector organizations, including Google, The Associate Press, Inter-American Development Bank, and Stanford University. He is a Visiting Scholar at Northern Arizona U., where he teaches a methods course each year. From 2000-2007 he was Vice President and chief methodologist for Nielsen Media Research. From 1978-2000 he was a tenured Full Professor at Northwestern University, and Ohio State University, and was the founding faculty director for the survey centers he established at each institution. Prior pursuing his graduate degrees he was a 5th grade teacher for four years in the inner-city of Chicago