Michael Emerson

Michael Emerson, Ph.D., serves as the Baker Institute’s Chavanne Fellow in Religion and Public Policy.

In a distinguished career spanning three decades, Emerson has published widely in the areas of religion and public issues, most recently serving as the principal investigator of the largest national study of religion and race ever conducted. He is the author of 15 books and nearly 100 other publications. He has secured major research and institutional grants and won several national awards for his research. His research and expertise have been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including CBS Evening News, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the New York Times and USA Today.

In addition to his current role, Emerson served for 15 years at Rice as the R.A. Tsanoff Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology and the Allyn R. & Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology. He was the founding director of Rice’s Center on Race, Religion, & Urban Life and is the co-founding director of the Kinder Institute.

His work focuses on understanding how religion influences public policy and in turn how public policy influences religious communities, both domestically and internationally. As part of the Baker Institute’s mission, he seeks to share his work with policymakers, community members and other leaders. He also seeks to be informed by other professionals to create networks of dialogue and action.