James Ron

Surveys and Polling 

About James Ron

James Ron, Ph.D., is a senior research manager living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was born in the US, lived in France, and then grew up in Jerusalem. His experience as an Associated Press reporter during the first Palestinian uprising pushed him to pursue a career in academia and human rights advocacy. James graduated with a BA in political science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley. During this time, James volunteered for B’Tselem – the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – editing their English language translation of a pathbreaking report on torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Later, he joined the US-based Human Rights Watch as a research consultant working on Israeli and Palestinian issues. Later, he worked for them in Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Palestine, and Russia. He still works with the group today, analyzing US survey data on public attitudes towards civil and human rights.

Towards the end of his doctorate, James Ron held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Watson Institute at Brown University. During this time, he also consulted for CARE, an international aid group, studying the human rights impact of their aid to refugees in the Goma camps. He also helped the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross evaluate their collaboration with international civilian protection agencies during the Bosnian and Croatian civil wars.

James Ron spent two decades working in American, Canadian, and Mexican academia, continuing the research trajectory he began with his sociology dissertation. Over the years, Ron has taught at Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, Carleton University, the Center for Economic Research and Training in Mexico City, and the University of Minnesota. He designed, oversaw, and analyzed qualitative and quantitative surveys across the world, including in Colombia, India, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, and the US.

James is currently completing a US polling project with Human Rights Watch, studying the American public’s views towards human and civil rights. When the opportunity arises, he volunteers for Life for a Child, an Australian charity that supplies urgently needed medical supplies to children and youth with diabetes in low-income countries. He travels to countries like India, Mexico, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan for this group, assessing needs and investigating the programs’ impact. Ron was inspired to do this work when his two-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease.

James is now working with colleagues to build a survey firm that will provide public opinion data on the social impact of foreign investment in low and middle-income countries.

James Ron has developed a robust set of research skills using both qualitative and statistical methods and continues to put those skills to good use to promote human rights and social justice.