Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Our Mission and Code of Ethics


The values of Pew Research Center (the “Center”) are described in this Code of Ethics and implemented through the Center’s internal policies and practices. Independence, objectivity, accuracy, humility, transparency and innovation are indispensable to the mission and success of the Center. All Center directors, officers and employees are guardians of these attributes and of the public trust that flows from them.


The Center generates a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making.

Our empirical research on a wide range of topics helps U.S. and international policymakers, civic leaders, educators and the public at large understand and address some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Our public opinion surveys allow the voice of the people to be heard, and our de­mographic, economic and political analyses provide context to understand how the world is changing.

We are nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonadvocacy. Our mission is to inform, not to prescribe. We believe that better information can build a better world.

“Fact-based information is the fuel democracies run on—the raw material from which societies identify problems and construct solutions.” — The Center’s founding documents

Personal and Professional Integrity

The directors, officers, and employees of the Center must act with honesty, integrity and openness in all their dealings on behalf of the organization. The Center promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and the highest professionalism.


The Center has a governing board of directors that is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization, as well as oversight of the policies, research priorities, finances and operations of the Center. The board is responsible for:

  • performing their duties for the benefit of the Center and in support of its mission;
  • avoiding or appropriately managing any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof through disclosure, recusal or other means consistent with the Center’s bylaws and conflict of interest policies;
  • overseeing the performance of the president, including an annual compensation review;
  • ensuring that the president and appropriate staff provide the board with timely and comprehensive information so that it may effectively carry out its duties;
  • ensuring that the Center’s  hiring and promotion practices are fair and inclusive;
  • ensuring that the Center’s policies are in writing and properly adopted;
  • confirming that the Center’s resources are responsibly and prudently managed.

Conflict of Interest

As outlined in the Center’s Conflict of Interest Policies, Center directors, officers, and employees must avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, and should never engage in any activity that might compromise or appear to com­promise the Center’s credibility or reputation for independence or impartiality.

Prohibitions on Electioneering

As outlined in the Center’s Political Activity Policy, the Center does not contribute, directly or indirectly, to political campaigns or to political parties or groups seeking to raise money for political campaigns or parties, and the Center does not reimburse any employee for political contributions. In addition, the Center prohibits partisan political activity by senior staff, even when they are acting in their individual capacity and on their personal time.

Integrity of Research

To ensure that the information the Center generates is of the greatest value to our audiences, the Center is committed to conducting research in a manner that is impartial, open-minded, and meets the highest standards of methodological integrity.

We employ only those tools and methods of analysis which, in our professional judgment, are well suited to the research problem at hand. We describe our findings and methods accurately and in sufficient detail to permit outsiders to evaluate the credibility of our results. We encourage inquiries about our research methods and practices and attempt to answer requests for information promptly. As detailed in our privacy policy, we are committed to protecting their privacy.

Pew Research Center’s reputation as a trusted data source also depends on audiences being secure in the knowledge that our research products are based on our own work and ideas. We are committed to properly citing any external sources and keeping our work plagiarism-free. Plagiarism is not just a violation of trust, but a violation of several of the Center’s key research values, including accuracy, rigor and transparency.

If there are reports, by Center employees or others, alleging that these standards have been abused or that any misconduct has taken place in the Center’s research processes, the reports will be referred to the president of the Center, the vice president – research, and the director of legal affairs. The Center will thoroughly investigate all reports and take appropriate corrective action if warranted.


The Center provides detailed information to the public and the media, and responds in a timely manner to all reasonable requests, including requests for the three most recent Form 990 tax returns and requests for audited financial statements. Information made available by the Center accurately reflects the policies and practices of the organization. All financial, organizational, and research reports are complete and accurate in all material respects.

Nondiscrimination and Inclusiveness

The Center has a policy of nondiscrimination and promotes inclusiveness. The Center prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, personal appearance, political affiliation, marital status, familial status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, breastfeeding, veteran status, military status, matriculation, physical or mental disability, medical condition, denial of medical and family care leave or pregnancy disability leave, protesting illegal discrimination, and/or any other characteristic protected by laws and regulations in the applicable jurisdiction (collectively “Protected Characteristics”), and takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of staff. View staff demographics.

Whistleblower Policy and Non-Retaliation

Per the Center’s whistleblower policy, employees should report violations or suspected violations of this Code of Ethics to their manager, a vice president, the director of legal affairs, the director of human resources or the president. Employees who report such violations or suspected violations in good faith will not be subject to retaliation of any kind in accordance with the whistleblower policy. Reported violations can be made through our whistleblower hotline at, which is hosted by an independent third party and permits anonymous reporting. Reports will be investigated and addressed promptly and will be treated confidentially to the extent practicable.

The Center is committed to conducting business legally and ethically, and requires all staff to comply with applicable laws and regulations.


This Code of Ethics is, by necessity, general in outlining broad ethical principles for the Center. The Center will be guided by the Code as well as by other relevant standards for the charitable sector when responding to specific issues not explicitly mentioned above. Questions about the Code of Ethics, and policies referenced herein, may be addressed to the Center’s Director, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary.