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Jie Zhao

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Statistician
Jie has expertise in sample design, survey weighting, imputation, variance estimation, predictive modeling, data analysis, and hypothesis testing.

With over 13 years of experience in the survey research field, Jie has been a key member of the Statistics team for AmeriSpeak, NORC’s multi-client panel-based research platform, since its inception in early 2015. She is the lead statistician on a multitude of AmeriSpeak client studies that cover a wide variety of topics in health policies, economy, entrepreneurship, science awareness, political and social opinions and behaviors, consumer products and services. She is a very adept hands-on statistician with extensive experience in sample design and selection, weighting, variance estimation, technical reporting and client communication. She is especially competent for designing and executing very complex sampling designs and weighting plans including using TrueNorth, an innovative NORC method for small area estimation modeling, to reduce bias when combining a non-probability sample with a probability sample. She is dedicated to developing and implementing fine sampling and weighting strategies with quality products and services that meet the complex needs and high expectations of clients.

She previously worked as a key statistician on the National Immunization Survey, where she successfully managed over 2 million national RDD/Cell sample every quarter, including sampling and data monitoring in support of large suite of data collection efforts during production. She also worked on building statistical models to analyze the dialing efficiency and predict the probability of interviewed completes. The NIS sample monitoring system she helped set up in release control for Child and Teen surveys greatly improved the efficiency and accuracy in beating quarterly and yearly targets at area level. With the large scale of the project, she has also contributed to the sample plans including dual frame design and optimum allocation for complex and large telephone surveys, drawing telephone numbers (about 7 million) to reach nearly 6,000 household interviewed completes annually, defining sampling frames based on geographic and demographic characteristics, and providing quality control systems for sampling procedures.

Prior to joining NORC, Jie was a graduate research assistant at UNL-GALLUP Research Center, focusing on nonresponse analysis and measurement error. She completed her internship at Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, where she examined the effects of risk factors on cancer among Nebraskans using Nebraska BRFSS data (2001-2009). While Jie was pursuing her M.A. in Educational Psychology, she worked as a research assistant at Nebraska Prevention Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse under the guidance of Dr. Ian Newman, Emeritus Professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to understand alcohol culture, policies, control strategies and behaviors in China.



University of Nebraska-Lincoln


University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Honors & Awards

Employee Recognition Award | 2019

NORC at the University of Chicago

Team Recognition Award | 2015

NORC at the University of Chicago

Employee Recognition Award | 2013

NORC at the University of Chicago

Outstanding Performance and Lasting Contribution to Nebraska Cancer Registry | 2010

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health

Project Contributions


  • opens in new tab"Bias Reduction through Rural Coverage for the AmeriSpeak Panel."

    Journal Article | November 8, 2016

    Pedlow, S.E. and Zhao, J.
  • "Exploring the Effect of an Advance Letter on Response Rates: A Meta-Analysis Study for the National Immunization Survey."

    Journal Article | August 26, 2012

    Wouhib, A. Khare, M., Pineau, V.J. and Zhao, J.
  • "The Effects of Risk Factors on Cancer among Nebraskans: A BRFSS Study."

    Project Report | August 20, 2010

    Zhao, J.
  • "University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Omnibus Survey Non-Response Analysis."

    Project Report | November 6, 2009

    Olson, K., Smyth, J., Zhao, J. and Witt, L.