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Kirk M. Wolter Receives the Norman Bradburn Career Achievement Award

Press Release

CHICAGO, December 7, 2021 – NORC at the University of Chicago has named Kirk M. Wolter, principal statistical advisor and senior fellow in the Statistics and Data Science department, as the 2021 recipient of the Norman Bradburn Career Achievement Award. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to social science research and methodology throughout their career and working for NORC.

Wolter is recognized for expanding NORC’s Statistics and Methodology department over the last 27 years from a small group to a powerhouse of more than 60 professional staff members. An internationally recognized expert in survey statistics and methods, Wolter brought a wealth of experience and industry knowledge from his 14 years at the U.S. Census Bureau, where he was Chief of the Statistical Research Division, and A.C. Nielsen Co., where he oversaw statistical methodology in 30 countries.

Wolter has led and participated in some of NORC’s most significant projects, including the National Immunization Survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the National Survey of Early Care and Education, and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. He created the Center for Excellence in Survey Research to foster innovative statistical work. Wolter also has a joint appointment as a statistics professor at the University of Chicago and is the author of the widely read and cited Introduction to Variance Estimation and dozens of journal articles.

“I am deeply honored and grateful to receive the Norman Bradburn Award,” Wolter said. “Throughout my career, I have seen the ability of robust statistical design and analysis to bring about positive change because of its importance in shaping policy designed to help the lives of all Americans."

Wolter earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Iowa State University.

“We created the Bradburn Award to honor those who have made a serious and lasting contribution to the field of survey research.”

Dan Gaylin

President and CEO

“We created the Bradburn Award to honor those who have made a serious and lasting contribution to the field of survey research.”

About the Norman Bradburn Award
This highly selective award is named for Norman Bradburn, widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost social psychologists. Bradburn worked at the forefront in developing theory and practice in the field of sample survey research. Currently a senior fellow at NORC, he previously served as director of NORC and president of our Board of Trustees. He is a long-time faculty member at the University of Chicago, where he is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. For more than five decades, his career has encompassed the highest levels of accomplishment in research and scholarship, teaching, university administration, and public service. Bradburn continues to inspire, mentor, and challenge social scientists both at NORC and throughout the field.

About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.

Contact: For more information, please contact Eric Young at NORC at or (703) 217-6814 (cell).