June 20, 2017

All ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UC SAN DIEGO (including Health Sciences)

SUBJECT:    Appointment of John Skrentny as Director of the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research

I am pleased to announce that John D. Skrentny, a professor in our Department of Sociology, has agreed to serve as director of the division’s Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research. We are grateful to fellow sociologist Lane Kenworthy for stewarding the center for the past two years.

John studies the causes and impacts of policies relating to opportunity and jobs, as well as the relationships between technological innovation, jobs, education, and regional competitiveness. He is the author, most recently, of the book “After Civil Rights: Racial Realism in the New American Workplace” (2014). He is a former Guggenheim Fellow and has published widely in both scholarly and popular media. John earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University and joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2000. Though John was trained in sociology, he believes we can best understand our world by integrating insights from a variety of fields. He regularly engages with scholars and practitioners in political science, law, history, economics, management and more.

The Yankelovich Center at UC San Diego – founded in 2012 by Daniel Yankelovich, who in 2016 also established a planned gift to sustain the center into perpetuity – is dedicated to developing practical solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems.

The center is currently focused on improving upward mobility in the United States, which has also become a major point of public attention and concern. People affiliated with the Yankelovich Center are working together across disciplines to identify the most effective strategies for addressing the issue. An Upward Mobility Commission is now in the process of putting together an evidence-based report on the relative merits of these strategies.

John’s plans for the Yankelovich Center include taking the findings of the commission out to the public and, in partnership with Public Agenda, a nonpartisan non-profit organization in New York City, testing which solutions have the most promise in terms of political feasibility and public support. In addition to the center’s existing executive board, John is also putting together a regional advisory board of community stakeholders. Cities and rural regions, he says, are the new laboratories of democracy – and we can best make national progress by beginning on a regional level and then scaling up best practices and solutions.

We are excited about the future of the Yankelovich Center at UC San Diego and look forward to building new partnerships in the region and beyond. To learn more about the center and to connect:

Carol Padden
Dean, Division of Social Sciences