Director, Statistical Methods Group
I have a passion for policy research and helping society to become more informed about public issues. It is incredibly rewarding to apply statistical principles and tools to studies of pragmatic, real-world problems and to help researchers develop rigorous scientific approaches to collect and analyze data for policy insights.
Robert Santos, vice president & chief methodologist at the Urban Institute, has over 35 years of experience designing research and evaluation studies. His expertise includes qualitative and quantitative research design, sampling, survey operations, and statistical analysis; specialty areas include Hispanics, blacks, undocumented immigrants, and other disadvantaged populations. Santos is also an expert in travel behavior research; he served as a statistical advisor on the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (researching long-distance travel methods for the Federal Highway Administration) and developed a driving exposure data-collection system for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Additionally, he has conducted studies in education, health, racial/ethnic topics, sensitive topic issues, special populations, environmental issues, housing issues, politics, and firefighter safety.
Before joining Urban, Santos held executive-level leadership positions at the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and NORC at the University of Chicago. He was also a partner of NuStats, LLC in Austin, Texas.
Santos has served on the Transportation Research Board and numerous Committee on National Statistics panels for the National Academies. He has also served on the editorial board of Public Opinion Quarterly and held various executive, elected positions in the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Washington Statistical Society, and the American Statistical Association (ASA). He is the 2013–14 AAPOR president. Santos is a fellow of the ASA and 2006 recipient of the Founder’s Award for excellence in survey statistics and contributions to the statistical community. He holds an MA in statistics from the University of Michigan.
Research AreasAdolescents and Youth Education and Training Crime and Justice Health and Health Policy Housing and Housing Finance Immigrants and Immigration Aging Children Families Race and Ethnicity Gender and Sexuality Research Methods and Data Analytics
September 2, 2018
Research Report Housing and Housing FinanceMary K. Cunningham, Martha M. Galvez, Claudia Aranda, Robert Santos, Douglas A. Wissoker, Alyse D. Oneto, Rob Pitingolo, James CrawfordAugust 20, 2018
Research Report Nonprofits and PhilanthropyMay 2, 2018
Research Report Gender and SexualityA Paired-Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender IndividualsDiane K. Levy, Douglas A. Wissoker, Claudia Aranda, Brent Howell, Rob Pitingolo, Sarale H. Sewell, Robert SantosJune 30, 2017
Research Report Gender and SexualityMay 23, 2017
March 27, 2016
Research Report Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosApril 17, 2015
Journal Article Health and Health PolicyUnderstanding Older Drivers: An Examination of Medical Conditions, Medication Use, and Travel BehaviorJuly 14, 2014
January 1, 2014