AmeriSpeak is NORC at the University of Chicago’s Panel-Based Research Platform
The AmeriSpeak team is comprised of leading experts with decades of experience in online survey research, statistics and methodology, and panel recruitment and management.
As Executive Director of AmeriSpeak, Michael Dennis oversees all of AmeriSpeak’s operations, including business development, panel design, and panel recruitment.
Dennis is a nationally recognized expert on survey research methods, with a particular focus on online surveys and household panels. He has overseen more than 100 statistical studies using online data collection and was appointed to serve as a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Task Force that developed online survey recommendations for researchers. His areas of methodological interest are in mixed-mode data collections, measurement of non-response bias and panel conditioning, uses of administrative data for enhancing survey sampling and analysis, and passive measurement of digital behaviors.
Prior to joining NORC, Dennis held several executive positions over fourteen years at Knowledge Networks, which was acquired by GfK Custom Research in 2012. Dennis founded Knowledge Networks’ Government and Academic Research Unit and managed all of the company’s federal, academic, and foundation funded research for clients such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, University of Pennsylvania, the National Science Foundation, and Stanford University.
In addition, Dennis provided management and scientific oversight for KnowledgePanel®. Before joining Knowledge Networks, Dennis directed telephone and field data collections for Abt Associates on federally funded surveys, including the National Immunization Survey. In addition to his work on publicly funded studies, Dennis has designed and directed consumer market research studies regarding food products, smartphones, personal computing, and other products. He has authored more than 60 articles, conference and seminar papers, and book chapters and is a frequent speaker at annual meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
David Dutwin is NORC’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Chief Scientist of AmeriSpeak, where he lends expertise on research design conceptualization, methodological innovation, and product development. Over his career he has specialized in low incidence population research, probability/nonprobability hybrid methodology and weighting, Big Data applications to survey research, Hispanic research, religious demography, sampling applications of address-based sample, and probability panel research and design.
Prior to joining NORC, Dutwin worked at SSRS as the chief data officer overseeing executive vision and strategy, project acquisition, statistical estimation, and management of advance research methods. He is a senior fellow of the Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as a lecturer. An avid member of the AAPOR community, Dutwin served as president from 2018 to 2019. He previously served on AAPOR’s Executive Council, was conference chair, and has served full terms on a number of committees.
Whitney Perkins Witt is the vice president of AmeriSpeak and director of strategy for federal programs.
Over her nearly-30-year career, Witt has worked across population health, public health, and social service sectors—spanning academia, private corporations, and nonprofit and governmental organizations. She has deep expertise in business development, strategy, and operations. Prior to joining NORC, Witt served as a professor and the inaugural dean of Lehigh 'University's College of Health. As dean, she provided strategic and operational leadership to establish the first educational programs with a focus on population health and health innovation and technology in the US. Witt also served as the director of the Center for Maternal and Child Health Research at IBM Watson Health, where she spearheaded research development and strategic planning efforts focusing on maternal, child, and family health and well-being. Witt has held full-time academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Witt is a 25-year member of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the recent past Chair of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Section, and a current Steering Committee Member of the Intersectional Council. She also serves as a technical expert for the National Institute on Health (NIH) Panel on Maternal and Child Health Research.
Witt has served as an expert on federal government panels and received numerous awards. She previously served on the 2019 National Expert Panel of the "MCH Public Health Workforce" for the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). In 2018 she was the winner of the IBM Solutions Lab Services Award and the winner of the IBM Watson Health Cognitive Competition. Of note, one of Witt's publications was named the Best Article in the 25th Anniversary Collection of the journal Women's Health Issues. In 2011, she was honored for Outstanding Mentorship by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA).
Mark Watts is the Director of Client Services for AmeriSpeak, NORC's breakthrough multi-client panel-based research platform. In addition to overseeing all of NORC's client relations for the many research projects being conducted at AmeriSpeak, Watts offers AmeriSpeak clients insight into their questionnaire, sample, and study designs.
Watts has been involved with survey research for nearly three decades. Prior to joining NORC, Watts was partner and eventual sole-owner of Abacus Associates, a strategic public opinion research firm based in Northampton, Massachusetts. At Abacus, Watts oversaw all aspects of a wide range of survey and focus group research covering public affairs, policy development, elections, membership and market research. Watts has also served as the Associate Director of the Institute for Public Opinion Research at Florida International University.
Watts received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. His research has been published in Public Opinion Quarterly, Public Perspective, Journal of Politics, Political Communication, Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Media Quarterly, and Communication Research, among others. He is a long-standing member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.
As Senior Manager of Web Surveys, Stefan Subias’ areas of responsibility include AmeriSpeak business development and client-facing project management. He has extensive experience conducting survey research including data management and reporting, sample and questionnaire design, quality control, and project budgeting.
Prior to joining NORC, Subias was a Senior Research Director at GfK where he focused on online survey research for government, foundation, and the academic sectors. He was also responsible for revenue-generation for surveys conducted in support of litigation. During his time at GfK and Knowledge Networks, which GfK acquired in 2012, Subias managed over 400 research studies for a wide range of foundations and non-profit organizations, university principal investigators, and commercial clients. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Bruce Barr is a director of AmeriSpeak Omnibus & Syndicated Research Services, NORC's survey product that combines questions from multiple clients who all share the cost of conducting the survey.
As AmeriSpeak continues to evolve its products and services, Barr is responsible for all aspects of growing AmeriSpeak Omnibus and related solutions. Within months of Barr joining the team, Omnibus moved from a once monthly survey to what is now a twice-a-month effort, offering greater flexibility for clients.
In his role, Barr oversees business development, project workflow execution, and Omnibus research deliverables. He also consults clients on study design and project management, working closely with other team members to ensure the best possible experience across the sectors served.
Barr brings more than 30 years of survey-based market research experience to his role. Prior to joining NORC, Barr spent more than a decade overseeing Omnibus services for GfK as their business group manager, playing a role in the sales, client services, account management, marketing communications, product development, and operations aspects of the business.
As Director of Web Surveys, Erlina Hendarwan is responsible for the operational management of the AmeriSpeak Panel, including panel recruitment and panel retention programs, and overall operational budget. Hendarwan has worked in the market and survey research industry for nearly 15 years, on both the operations research and client-facing research sides of the business. She has extensive experience building probability-based online panels and supporting longitudinal studies.
Hendarwan has a wide-range of expertise, including panel communication and questionnaire design, establishing panel management rules and processes, translating panel management rules and processes into technical documents, creating and maintaining key panel metrics reports, designing and analyzing experiments to develop best panel management practices, and overall panel budget management. She has worked with a variety of research methods such as mail, telephone, online, in-person and mobile research.
Prior to joining NORC, Hendarwan was a vice president at GfK, overseeing all operational aspects of KnowledgePanel®, a large-scale probability-based online panel, and other client-funded custom panels. She received an MSc in Economics from the University of College, London.
As Senior Manager, Panel Business Development, Dan Costanzo assists clients with all aspects of project development: the brainstorming of solutions, price quotes and proposals, grant support, contracting, and account management. Dan has worked on the AmeriSpeak Panel since its inception in 2014, leading for several years the panel recruitment effort in NORC's telephone center. Before joining the AmeriSpeak team, Dan spent 11 years as a Production Manager in the telephone center, including the development and execution of project and staff trainings, project management, and staff leadership.
Prior to joining NORC, Dan taught both Spanish and English-as-a-Foreign-Language, including time spent living and working in Madrid. He also served as a policy aide to former Vice Presidential candidate and current U.S. Senator Tim Kaine during his stint as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Dan is nearly fluent in Spanish and holds a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.
As Senior Manager, Client Services, Stephanie Jwo is responsible for developing Client Services’ standard operating procedures, including standards for questionnaire programming and review, and data collection and management. Jwo also trains and manages the AmeriSpeak Client Services team on all standard operating procedures for conducting studies using the AmeriSpeak Panel.
Prior to joining NORC, she managed over 200 projects for the Government & Academic group at GfK (formerly Knowledge Networks) since 2010. Jwo is an expert in conducting surveys with teens and young adults, parent-teen dyad surveys, longitudinal studies, Hispanic/Spanish-language studies, and health surveys (e.g., smoking cessation, sexual health) for web panels. Jwo earned an MA in Experimental Psychology from San Jose State University, in San Jose, California.
Margrethe Montgomery is a Senior Research Director in NORC's Health Care Research department. She currently oversees systems development and data collection for the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. She is also the Survey Task Lead for the Next Generation – Accountable Care Organizations Model Evaluation. She has also contributed to the National Immunization Survey, the Network for a Healthy California Benchmark Survey, the EIA Fuel Price Survey, the National Children's Study, the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Survey, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
Montgomery has 20 years of experience in survey research. She has expertise in multiple modes of data collection, including telephone, in-person, Internet, and IVR, as well as in surveys among multiple types of populations, including establishment surveys and surveys among both special populations and general population samples. She has both hands-on and management experience in the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. She has managed surveys covering diverse topics such as health, nutrition, education, labor, and political behavior.
Prior to joining NORC, Montgomery worked as a research director at The Gallup Organization, where she worked on projects for the U.S. Postal Service, the General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Center for Education Statistics.
Ipek Bilgen is a Senior Research Methodologist at NORC at the University of Chicago. Bilgen is responsible for overseeing AmeriSpeak’s methodological research. She received both her Ph.D. and M.S. from the Survey Research and Methodology Program (SRAM) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Bilgen joined NORC in 2011. To date, she has managed numerous multi-mode projects which called for her expertise to contribute to decisions regarding web, computer-assisted telephone, and mail contact and implementation strategies, effective interviewing techniques, and considerations of survey error. Bilgen has been involved in extensive research related to communication and cognition in surveys, web, mail, and phone survey implementation and design, interviewer effect on data quality, measurement, non-response, and coverage errors in multi-mode surveys, as well as use of innovative technologies in survey data collection.
Prior to joining NORC, Bilgen worked as a research assistant at the Gallup Research Center (GRC) and was a teaching assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). During her time at GRC, she was involved in several projects which addressed methodological issues related to survey data quality and total survey error, specifically, communication and cognition in surveys, event history calendar methodology, interviewer effect on data quality, cross-cultural survey methodology, and survey data analyses.
Bilgen has published and co-authored articles in Journal of Official Statistics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Survey Practice, Social Currents, Social Science Computer Review, Field Methods, and Quality and Quantity on issues related to interviewing methodology, web surveys, cognition and communication, and measurement error in surveys. Her current research includes investigation of panel non-response follow-up, internet sampling and recruitment approaches, and questionnaire design and survey implementation issues.