Thomas Ogorzalek, Ph.D.

Managing Director and Lead Research Scientist, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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Tom is a political scientist with more than 15 years of experience analyzing public policy, public opinion, and race in the United States. Prior to joining C Street, he was Principal and Research Coordinator at TKO Research, a community-oriented research collaborative of Ph.D.-trained social scientists providing key research expertise for advocacy campaigns, program evaluation, and corporate accountability efforts to non-profit groups and private sector firms. His work applies data and rigorous, cutting-edge empirical research techniques to help organizations address practical challenges and confidently pursue new strategies.  

Tom is an accomplished academic researcher who has held appointments at Northwestern University, Princeton University, Sciences Po (Paris), and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He has taught courses and conducted research on the relationship between diversity and democracy, leadership in rapidly changing societies, race in America, urban politics, global cities, social movements, and research methodology. Tom’s research has been published in leading political science journals, including the American Political Science Review, Electoral Studies, and Du Bois Review. His book, The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018), won the Best Book prize from the Race and Ethnic Politics section of the American Political Science Association. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, Televisa, and other outlets, and he has provided expert advice and testimony on race relations in the U.S. for government agencies and candidates for office. 

A passionate advocate for unheard voices and local community organization, he is the Co-Director of the Chicago Democracy Project, which provides in-depth analysis of electoral and policy issues in his hometown of Chicago. He also serves on the board of the New Leaders Council in Chicago, a network of young leaders that provides hands-on training in organizational management and activism through an equity lens. He has worked previously as an editor of the Urban Affairs Review and the Journal of Housing and Community Development at the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

Tom received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, M.A. from the New School for Social Science, and Ph.D. from Columbia University.