Michael Toscano is executive director of the Institute for Family Studies. Michael is a leader in efforts nationwide to adopt laws to make technology safer for kids. He has written on family policy, tech policy, the uses of technology to reshape work, and the effect of technological change on America's republican form of government. His writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Post, First Things, Compact, The American Conservative, National Review, and elsewhere. Under his leadership, IFS has more than doubled its annual budget and quadrupled its research output. He is co-author with Peter Wood of "What Does Bowdoin Teach? How a Liberal Arts College Shapes Students" (2013).
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 (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 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 Verily, Acculturated, Aleteia, 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.
Elizabeth is the Outreach Coordinator for the Institute for Family Studies. Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Elizabeth graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2022. She majored in the Program of Liberal Studies and Theology with a minor in Constitutional Studies, managed one of the school papers for two years, and was a fellow of the DeNicola Center for Ethics and Culture and the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government. She enjoys connecting people, storytelling, and getting outside whenever she can to hike, play ultimate frisbee, or ride horses.
David Bass is director of communications at the Institute for Family Studies. David has two decades of experience in the world of PR, communications, and journalism, primarily serving nonprofit and mission-driven organizations. In addition to authoring nine books, he has written hundreds of articles for major state and national publications on topics ranging from strengthening marriage and family to breaking down barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations. David holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Thomas Edison State University.
Wendy Blythe Mason the Office Manager for the Institute for Family Studies. She has over 30 years of administrative experience in multiple industries that include Virginia Power, Martin Marietta (currently Lockheed), pharmaceutical trial startups, aviation and avionics, healthcare, and custom home builders. Wendy earned a Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Colorado in 1999 and has earned a certificate in Financial Accounting from Harvard University.
Wendy home schooled her children, loves music, poetry, and the fine arts, and can be heard playing guitar, singing, and dancing on her back porch every weekend by her neighbors who occasionally join the performances.
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.
Laurie F. DeRose (Brown University, Ph.D.) is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, director of research for the World Family Map Project, and assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Catholic University of America. She has published numerous articles on fertility, education, fertility decision-making, and public health in sub-Saharan Africa.
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.
Jason S. Carroll is the Family Research Director at the Wheatley Institute at Brigham Young University and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. He has published widely on links between marriage and human flourishing, marriage readiness among young adults, and modern threats to marriage. Dr. Carroll was awarded the Berscheid-Hatfield Award for Distinguished Mid-Career Achievement, an annual award given for distinguished scientific achievement by the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR). Dr. Carroll is best known professionally for his development of the “Developmental Model of Marital Competence,” the widely used “Marital Horizon Theory” of young adult readiness for marriage, and “Sexual Restraint Theory,” which has been used to demonstrate the benefits to couples who wait until they are married to begin their sexual relationship. Most recently, Dr. Carroll has received recognition for his co-development of the “STRIVE-4 Model of Virtue” that provides a comprehensive model to organize and guide a mature science of the role personal virtues play in human flourishing.
Jenet Erickson (PhD, University of Minnesota) is a fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, a fellow of the Wheatley Institution, and an associate professor in Religious Education and the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. Erickson’s research specializing in maternal and child-wellbeing in the context of work and family life has been featured in multiple major news outlets. As a Social Science Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, she completed an extensive review of research on the effects of non-parental care on children’s development for policy makers. Since 2013, she has been columnist on family issues for the Deseret News.
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.
Lyman Stone is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the chief information officer of the consulting firm Demographic Intelligence, and a PhD student at McGill University. His work has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall 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 currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, with his wife and daughter. They formerly lived in Hong Kong.
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.
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.
Charles E. Stokes (University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D.) is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and Associate 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.
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.
Erica Komisar, LCSW is a contributing editor at the Institute for Family Studies, a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities and The New York Freudian Society, Ms. Komisar is a psychological consultant bringing parenting and work/life workshops to clinics, schools, corporations, and childcare settings including The Garden House School, Goldman Sachs, Shearman and Sterling and SWFS Early Childhood Center. Erica is the author of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, and is currently finishing a second book on the topic of adolescence.
Naomi Schaefer Riley is a contributing editor at the Institute for Family Studies, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum. The author of six books, including Be the Parent: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat (2018), she writes about child welfare, parenting, higher education, religion, and philanthropy.
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.
Amber Lapp is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, a contributing writer at American Compass, 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. She and her husband David live in a small town in southwestern Ohio with their five children. Her writing has appeared in National Review, First Things, USA Today, The Federalist, Comment Magazine, and The Atlantic Online.
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.
Robert VerBruggen is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor at National Review. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2006 and has also held positions at The American Conservative, RealClearPolicy, The Washington Times, and The National Interest. He lives in Herndon, Va., with his wife and two children.
Clay Routledge is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and Professor of Psychology at North Dakota State University. His work uses a range of empirical methods to examine the different ways people seek meaning and how the presence or absence of meaning influences physical and psychological health. Dr. Routledge has published widely in scholarly and popular venues on these and other subjects, and is the editor and author of several books, including Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource and Supernatural: Death, Meaning, and the Power of the Invisible World.
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