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Michael Reynolds

Pronouns: He/Him

Senior Vice President & Director
Michael leads The Bridge at NORC, is a trained sociologist, and has been associated with NORC since 1997.

​Michael is senior vice president and director of The Bridge at NORC, formerly known as the Academic Research Centers. He also serves as project director, working on both quantitative and qualitative social science research projects, primarily in the education and health fields. Michael's work has also included a large portfolio of international studies.

As director of the Bridge, Michael is responsible for maintaining and deepening collaborations between NORC and faculty and researchers at the University of Chicago, as well as at other academic institutions. He works to build bridges to connect U of C faculty, primarily those interested in empirical research, to colleagues across NORC’s in a number of substantive departments. In his current role, Michael and his Bridge colleagues are working to translate research into practice by developing partnerships with implementing entities, and exploring new ways to effectively use basic research to drive program design as well as monitor and evaluate data driven interventions.

In The Bridge at NORC, Michael also serves as project director or senior advisor for a number of early childhood development and health studies including the Abecedarian at Midlife Study; the National Social Life Health and Aging Project NSHAP), the Sampling Strategies and Measure Development for the LGBT Aging Project (SAMLAP), and the Evaluation of Feeding America’s Child and Family Choice Program; Internationally, Michael has led several of NORC's evaluations of agricultural, education, and health interventions in a number of developing countries including Honduras, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Benin. He also served as one of NORC’s in-country leads for NORC’s Qatari National Education Data System Project. Michael taught at the Brazilian National University of Para in the Brazilian Amazon, and conducted research in Brazil for six years, examining the effects of migration and development on communities at the "edges" of the Amazon.

In addition to his experience in gathering and analyzing quantitative data, Michael is trained as an ethnographer and has conducted qualitative field research in sites as diverse as Chicago inner-city neighborhoods to Brazilian gold mines in the Amazon. He is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and French, and conversant in Italian.



University of Chicago


University of Chicago


University of Southern California

Project Contributions

Outcomes of Arts Engagement for Individuals and Communities

A research review to bring evidence to the discussion about benefits of the arts


William Penn Foundation

Feeding America’s Child & Family Choice Program

The first rigorous assessment of increasing choice for food pantries and the families they serve


Feeding America National Office (FANO)

The Abecedarian Project at Midlife

Following up on groundbreaking research about early childhood intervention


University of Chicago

HighScope Perry Preschool Study

Updating a groundbreaking study on the impact of early education


National Institute on Aging