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Richard Brake, Ph.D.

Richard Brake, Ph.D., President

Richard Brake is president of the Institute for Family Studies.  A former political science professor, National Guard officer, and Capitol Hill staffer, Dr. Brake worked from 2006-2013 at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, where he served as vice president for undergraduate education and directed its civic literacy and free enterprise initiatives.  His doctoral work and college teaching focused on America’s founding political institutions.  Dr. Brake holds a bachelors degree in history from Georgetown University; a masters degree in government from the University of Virginia; and a doctoral degree in political science from Temple University.

W. Bradford Wilcox

W. Bradford Wilcox, Senior Fellow

W. Bradford Wilcox (Princeton University, Ph.D.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. The coeditor of Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (Columbia University Press, 2013), Wilcox conducts research on marriage, cohabitation, fatherhood, and the welfare of children.

Wendy Wang

Wendy Wang, Director of Research

Wendy Wang (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is director of research at the Institute for Family Studies. Dr. Wang is a former senior researcher at Pew Research Center, where she conducted research on marriage, gender, work, and family life in the United States. She was the lead author of the Pew Research Center report, Breadwinner Moms, among other Pew reports.

Alysse ElHage

Alysse ElHage, Editor, Family Studies Blog

Alysse ElHage is Editor of the IFS Blog, Family Studies, and a freelance writer. Prior to joining the Institute for Family Studies, she served as associate director of research at the North Carolina Family Policy Council, and as associate editor of Family North Carolina magazine. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Covenant College and master's degree in journalism from Regent University. Alysse's writing has appeared in VerilyAcculturatedAleteia, and at FoxNews.com. She also contributed an essay to the anthology, He Never Came Home: Interviews, Stories, and Essays from Daughters on Life Without Their Fathers, edited by Regina R. Robertson.

Jason S. Carroll

Jason S. Carroll, Senior Fellow

Jason S. Carroll is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, Professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, and the Associate Director of the Wheatley Institution.  He has published widely on marriage readiness among young adults and modern threats to marriage.  In 2014, Dr. Carroll received the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for Distinguished Mid-Career Achievement, an annual award given for distinguished scientific achievement by the International Association for Relationship Research. 

Laurie DeRose

Laurie DeRose, Senior Fellow

Laurie F. DeRose (Brown University, Ph.D.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of Research for the World Family Map Project. She has published numerous articles on fertility, education, fertility decision-making, and public health in sub-Saharan Africa. She teaches African and African-American demography at Georgetown University.

Scott Stanley

Scott Stanley, Senior Fellow

Scott M. Stanley is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a research professor and Co-Director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Stanley is the author of The Power of Commitment and one of the founders of PREP (internationally recognized, evidence-based relationship education curricula), and he conducts research on commitment, romantic relationship development, and the prevention of marital distress and divorce.

Spencer L. James

Spencer L. James, Senior Fellow

Spencer L. James is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and an associate professor in the School of Family Life and the Africana Studies program at Brigham Young University. His research focuses on family relationships and the influence of those relationships on the wellbeing of children, adolescents, and adults, in both developing and developed countries. Within this broader stream of research, he focuses on two lines: the first on the consequences of family relationships for child well-being, and the second addressing how and why people form, maintain, and dissolve romantic relationships. Currently, he is working on several projects that examine how family structure and child well-being are linked in sub-Saharan Africa.


 

Nicholas Zill, Senior Fellow

Nicholas Zill is a research psychologist and senior fellow of the Institute for Family Studies. He directed the National Survey of Children, a longitudinal study that produced widely cited findings on children’s life experiences and adjustment following parental divorce. He previously served as the first project director of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, and he is the founder of the organization, Child Trends. Dr. Zill is the co-author of Running In Place: How American Families Are Faring In A Changing Economy and An Individualistic Society, and of Who Reads Literature? The Future of the United States As A Nation of Readers.

Charles E. Stokes

Charles E. Stokes, Senior Fellow

Charles E. Stokes (University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Samford University. Much of his work investigates how family, education, and religion influence the well-being of youth. His recent work has been published in venues such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science Research, and Journal of Family Issues.

Robert I. Lerman

Robert I. Lerman, Senior Fellow

Robert I. Lerman is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, Professor of Economics at American University, Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, and Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. He has published widely on economics and social policy issues and was one of the first scholars to examine unwed fatherhood and to propose a youth apprenticeship strategy in the U.S.

Bill Coffin

Bill Coffin, Senior Fellow

Bill Coffin (Maryland, M.Ed.) is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and the author of the IFS "Friday Five." The former Special Assistant for Marriage Education at the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services, Bill is a recipient of the Smart Marriages Impact Award. He and his wife, Pat, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.


 

Amber Lapp

Amber Lapp, Research Fellow

Amber Lapp is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for American Values, and co-investigator of the Love and Marriage in Middle America Project, a qualitative research inquiry into how working-class young adults form relationships and families. Lapp blogs at IBelieveinLove.com, and her work has appeared in media outlets such as The Atlantic Online, First Things, and The Huffington Post.

David Lapp

David Lapp, Research Fellow

David Lapp is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for American Values, and co-investigator of the Love and Marriage in Middle America Project, a qualitative research inquiry into how working-class young adults form relationships and families. Lapp blogs at IBelieveinLove.com, and his work has appeared in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Online, and First Things.

Lyman Stone

Lyman Stone, Research Fellow

Lyman Stone is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and an Adjunct Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He blogs about migration, population dynamics, and regional economics at In a State of Migration. His work has been covered in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street Journal, Vox, and The Federalist, as well as numerous local outlets. He formerly worked as an international economist for USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service and is presently serving as a missionary in the Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod with his wife, Ruth, who sometimes even agrees with the things he writes.

Kay Hymowitz

Kay Hymowitz, Contributing Editor

Kay Hymowitz is a Contributing Editor at the Institute for Family Studies, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a Contributing Editor of City Journal. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America.

Ashley E. McGuire

Ashley E. McGuire, Contributing Editor

Ashley E. McGuire is a Contributing Editor at the Institute for Family Studies, a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association, editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah, and the Richard John Neuhaus Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, among others, and she has appeared on CNN, FOX News, PBS, CBS, and the BBC.

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