New Scholars Join the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Contact: Robbie Mills, Pew Forum Communications Associate, 202.419.4564


Washington, DC - 10/14/2008 - Stephanie C. Boddie, Allen Hertzke and Mehtab S. Karim have joined the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and will be conducting in-depth research in several new areas. The Pew Forum is expanding its research on the topics of religion and social welfare, religion and public policy, and religion and world affairs. 

“I could not be more pleased to have such qualified and accomplished experts join us at the Pew Forum,” said Director Luis Lugo. “Their extensive knowledge and understanding of the many ways that religion impacts domestic and global affairs will greatly enhance the Pew Forum’s efforts to provide relevant, objective research to journalists, government officials and other policy leaders.”

Stephanie C. Boddie joins the Pew Forum as a senior research fellow in religion and social welfare. She will help build the Pew Forum’s knowledge base on the relationship among religion, people of faith, faith-based organizations and social needs. Her work will focus on trends and effectiveness in faith-based services, faith communities’ responses to social needs, and faith-based initiatives at the national, state and local levels. Previously, Stephanie was an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis with a primary appointment at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. From 2002-2006, she served as lead consultant for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Faith and Families portfolio. She has co-authored The Newer Deal: Social Work and Religion in Partnership (1999), The Invisible Caring Hand: American Congregations and the Provision of Welfare (2002), The Other Philadelphia Story: How Local Congregations Support Quality of Life in Urban America (2006) and Faith-Based Social Services: Measures, Assessments, and Effectiveness (2007). Stephanie received her doctorate in social welfare and master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and has her bachelor’s degree in natural science from Johns Hopkins University.

Allen Hertzke joins the Pew Forum as a visiting senior research fellow in religion and public policy. He will conduct research on religious advocacy groups and their lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work at the Pew Forum, Allen serves as the Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. A frequent commentator on religion and politics, he has authored numerous scholarly articles and books, including Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights (2004), Echoes of Discontent (1992) and the award-winning Representing God in Washington (1988). A recipient of numerous teaching awards, Allen has lectured at the National Press Club, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Council on Foreign Relations and Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, as well as before numerous audiences in China. He earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his master’s degree in resource economics from Cornell University and his bachelor’s degree social science from Colorado State University.

Mehtab S. Karim joins the Pew Forum as a visiting senior research fellow in religion and world affairs. He will conduct research on Muslim demographics worldwide. He has done extensive research on demographic issues in Muslim countries and in South Asia, and he has co-authored a book, Islam, the State and Population (2005). Immediately before joining the Pew Forum, he was a professor of demography at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. His earlier appointments include visiting senior fellow at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University; research fellow at the Asia Research Centre at the London School of Economics; lead researcher at the Demographic and Health Survey; on behalf of the World Bank, technical advisor to Minister of Planning & Development for the Government of Sindh in Karachi, Pakistan; and research fellow at the East-West Center. Additionally, he has served as a consultant to the United Nations and the World Bank. Mehtab received his doctorate in sociology/demography from Cornell University, his master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s degree in sociology and economics from the University of Karachi, Pakistan.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life delivers timely, impartial information on issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. The Pew Forum is a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy organization and does not take positions on policy debates. Based in Washington, D.C., the Pew Forum is a project of the Pew Research Center, which is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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