James S. FishkinJames S. Fishkin
Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy
Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication
Professor of Communication
Professor of Political Science (by courtesy)

James S. Fishkin holds the Janet M. Peck Chair in International Communication at Stanford University where he is Professor of Communication, Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) and Director of the Center for Deliberative Democracy. His work focuses on deliberative democracy and democratic theory in books such as Democracy When the People Are Thinking (Oxford 2018), When the People Speak (Oxford 2009), Deliberation Day  (Yale 2004 with Bruce Ackerman) and Democracy and Deliberation (Yale 1991). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and a Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge. Fishkin was educated at Yale and Cambridge. He holds both a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Cambridge. 

Fishkin first proposed Deliberative Polling® as a method of public consultation in 1988. It has since been applied in more than 28 countries around the world in more than 108 projects on all inhabited continents.

Deliberative Polling is designed to answer a simple but fundamental question: what would the people think under good conditions for thinking about it? It reaches the people through rigorously applied stratified random sampling. It engages them in this simple account of the “good conditions”—balanced and vetted briefing materials (written and/or video), small group discussions with trained moderators, questions to competing experts posed by the small groups, collection of opinions via confidential questionnaires before and after deliberation (so as to avoid the social pressures of groups trying to reach consensus). This approach has yielded fruitful results for policy-making around the world. 

Alice SiuAlice Siu
Associate Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy

Siu received her Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at Stanford University, with a focus in political communication, deliberative democracy and public opinion, and her B.A. degrees in Economics and Public Policy and M.A. degree in Political Science, also from Stanford.

Siu has advised policymakers and political leaders around the world, at various levels of government, including leaders in China, Brazil, and Argentina. Her research interests in deliberative democracy include what happens inside deliberation, such as examining the effects of socio-economic class in deliberation, the quality of deliberation, and the quality of arguments in deliberation.

Kathleen GilesKathleen Giles
Manager, Center for Deliberative Democracy

Giles received her M.A. from New York University in Italian Literature and her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine in Global Cultures. She is an active member of the ResilientAfrica Network working on various Deliberative Polling projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Advisors

Shanto Iyengar
Harry & Norman Chandler Professor of Communication
Professor of Political Science

Lawrence Lessig
Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

Robert Luskin
Associate Professor of Government
University of Texas at Austin

Senior Advisors

Lenny Mendonca
Director Emeritus, McKinsey and Co.

Daniel Werner
Former President, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions

Gombojavyn Zandanshatar
Former Foreign Minister and co-chair Deliberative Polling Advisory Committee in Mongolia

Research Assistants

Samuel Chang
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication

Kaiping Chen
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication

Rui Wang
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication

Kaiping Zhang
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication

Yushu Zhou
Ph.D. Candidate, Communication