Will Friedman joined Public Agenda in 1994, became Associate Director of Research in 1996, and was the founding director of our public engagement department in 1997. In 2007, he established Public Agenda’s Center for Advances in Public Engagement (now the Yankelovich Center at Public Agenda), which conducts action research to assess impacts and improve practice. He also served as President of Public Agenda from 2011 until 2020.

Will is the co-author, with the late Public Agenda co-founder Daniel Yankelovich, of Toward Wiser Public Judgment (2011, Vanderbilt University Press). Among his other publications are: “Reframing Framing,” “Transforming Public Life: A Decade of Public Engagement in Bridgeport, CT,” “Deliberative Democracy and the Problem of Scope,” “Deliberative Democracy and the Problem of Power” and “From Employee Engagement to Civic Engagement: Exploring Connections between Workplace and Community Democracy.”

Previously, Will was Senior Vice President for Policy Studies at the Work in America Institute, where he directed research and special projects on workplace issues. He was also an adjunct lecturer in political science at Lehman College and a research fellow at the Samuels Center for State and Local Politics. He holds a PhD in political science, from the City University of New York Graduate Center, with specializations in political psychology and American politics.