Craig Charney

President, Charney Research

Craig Charney, President of Charney Research, is a leading pollster with two decades' experience and a political scientist highly knowledgeable on failed states, Islamic extremism, inter-group conflict, democracy promotion, and civil society.

Since he established Charney Research in 1997, a focus of his work has been developing countries in conflict or recovering from it. "If there is an expert on polling in the midst of turmoil, it is Craig Charney," the New York Post wrote after he conducted the first-ever political poll in Afghanistan in 2004. He also conducted the first national political polls ever in Indonesia (after Suharto's fall), Cambodia after the transition to democracy, and East Timor after Indonesia pulled out. Since 2001 his work has increasingly involved the Muslim world, including: Pakistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Algeria, and Palestine. Themes have included Muslim extremism, governance and state strength, and anti-Americanism. His 2005 report for the Council on Foreign Relations entitled, "A New Beginning: Strategies for a More Fruitful Dialogue with the Muslim World", has had a major influence on public diplomacy strategy in the second Bush administration and under President Obama. His Afghanistan poll for ABC News won an Outstanding Achievement award from the University of Iowa Journalism School.

He has also worked on economic development issues, including investor attitudes, privatization, and cost recovery strategies, and project assessments in Mozambique, South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, and other countries. In Liberia, he assessed the public mood after Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected the first female president.

Before founding his firm, Craig was Senior Analyst on 1996 polling team of President Bill Clinton. He also co-directed voter education polling for Nelson Mandela and the ANC in South Africa's first election in 1994, working with Stanley Greenberg and Celinda Lake. He has wide experience with political, non-profit, corporate, and governmental clients, both in the US and more than 20 countries overseas. In addition to his overseas work, he has worked in local, Congressional, state-wide, and national races, as well as working on topics such as health insurance, HIV/AIDS, education, transportation, social policy, immigration, the environment, agriculture, and workplace attitudes.

In addition to his consulting work, Craig is a widely published political scientist and commentator. He earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at Yale, with a thesis on the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, as well as a Master's-level diploma in the Development of Sociology from the Sorbonne and a Master of Philosophy in politics from Oxford. Craig has published more than a dozen articles in scholarly journals and four book-length studies based on his polling and research work, as well as pieces in The New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Globe and Mail, and other leading newspapers. He comments on TV and radio in the US and Canada and has spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Center for Strategic and International Studies, US Institute of Peace, and other prestigious fora. He has briefed his findings at the National Security Council, State Department, and US Agency for International Development.

Craig is a member of the American Association of Political Consultants and the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He was named a member of the USAID Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid in 2008.

Focus: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Governance, Health, Jobs, Migration, Global

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Last Updated: May 14, 2012

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