Jon Cohen, who has been general manager and polling director of The Washington Post’s Capital Insight, has been named vice president of research at the Pew Research Center. Please see below for the announcement to staff from Pew Research Center President Alan Murray, who also announced new roles and titles for some key leaders at the center. For more information, contact Pew Research communications at (202) 419-4372.

Announcement to Pew Research Center staff from President Alan Murray

All –

I’m happy to announce a number of important changes in the management structure of the Pew Research Center:

Paul Taylor will be taking on a new role as Executive Vice President-Special Projects that will free him from many of his Center-wide administrative responsibilities and allow him to focus more fully on a very exciting Generations project that is tied closely to the theme of his book, due out next spring.

-Jon Cohen, whom many of you know from his work at The Washington Post, will be joining us in the new role of Vice President-Research.  In that role, Jon will team up with Elizabeth Gross and me in sharing management responsibility for the Pew Research Center as a whole.  Jon will also take on vetting responsibility for all the Center’s research.

-Amy Mitchell will become Director of Journalism Research, a position from which she will oversee our various efforts to understand how people get the information they need to be effective citizens.  She will continue to run the Center’s Journalism project.

-Mark Lopez will become Director of Hispanic Research, and have overall responsibility for the various lines of research we do related to the Hispanic community.

A few words on each of these changes:

Paul’s move will enable him to focus on a generations initiative, which will have three principal themes: 1) update and expand our research on the Millennial generation; 2) update our research on the Baby Boomers, their attitudes about retirement, and their expectations about old age; and 3) explore public attitudes related to one of the great domestic challenges of coming decades – how we can keep faith with the promises we’ve made to the old without bankrupting the young.  This project will reflect many of the themes of the emerging strategic plan.  It will draw on expertise from across the Center, involve work with a wide range of data sets measuring economic well-being, and will include developing innovative new ways to disseminate the research particularly with an eye toward reaching younger audiences.  We are also planning a major conference on these topics in Washington, DC early next year, timed to the release of Paul’s book.  Paul will continue to oversee the Center’s work on social and demographic trends, which has produced so many ground-breaking reports in recent years.

Jon Cohen, whom many of you know, is a perfect match for the Pew Research Center. He is currently general manager and polling director of Capital Insight, a company that was established by The Washington Post to allow Jon to offer polling services to the Post and other clients.  Prior to joining the Post as director of polling in 2006, he was assistant director of polling at ABC News.  Before that, he worked at the Public Policy Institute of California, and, from 1999-2001, at a wireless start-up in San Jose. He is widely respected in the world of survey research, has deep understanding of journalism, has experience in the new digital technologies that are driving changes in the way we conduct and disseminate our research, and has an entrepreneurial spirit that will prove useful as we forge new paths. Most importantly, Jon is a great guy with a collegial manner that will enable him to fit in well here.  His new post will free up Paul to focus on his generational research, and also free up Scott Keeter, who will be focusing in the coming year on a very ambitious program of methodological research. Jon will start September 10.

Amy has done a brilliant job with the Journalism project since taking over as acting director earlier this year, keeping the group together and working to broaden its focus to include the study of the various ways in which people get news and information.  She will continue to lead that project, and, with the new title, take on broader responsibility for news and information research that cuts across the Center.  Amy will report directly to me.

Mark has been a driving force in our very important Hispanic research since 2008, and his new title reflects an increase in responsibility, as Paul shifts more of his focus to the generations work.  Mark will continue to report to Paul.

Please congratulate Paul, Amy and Mark on these new positions, and join me in welcoming Jon when he joins us in September.