News & Awards

Massey named director of the Office of Population Research (OPR)

Nov 9, 2010

Douglas S. Massey, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has been named director of the Office of Population Research (OPR) effective July 1, 2011. Founded in 1936, the Office of Population Research is the oldest population research center in the United States. It continues to be a leading demographic research and training center with a distinguished history of contributions in formal demography and the study of fertility change. In recent years there has been increasing research activity in the areas of health and wellbeing, social demography, and migration and urbanization.

James Trussell, OPR’s outgoing director, noted that Massey is a natural choice for the position. “We are thrilled that Doug has accepted this position. He was trained at OPR while a graduate student at Princeton and appreciates the history of the institution. His research epitomizes the new directions in which the study of population has moved over the past 20 years.”  

Massey is a prolific writer. His book, American Apartheid (Harvard University Press, 1993), co-authored with Nancy Denton, won the Distinguished Publication Award of the American Sociological Association. More recently he co-authored The Source of the River (Princeton University Press, 2003), an analysis of factors that influence minority achievement in selective colleges and universities based on a representative, national sample.

He has also published extensively on Mexican immigration, including the books Return to Aztlan (University of California Press, 1987), and Miracles on the Border (University of Arizona Press, 1995), which won a 1996 Southwest Book Award. His latest two books on immigration are Beyond Smoke and Mirrors (Russell Sage, 2002), which won the 2004 Otis Dudley Duncan Award for the best book in social demography, and Brokered Boundaries: Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times (Russell Sage 2010).

“Doug is a talented researcher who understands the policy implications of his work” said Woodrow Wilson Dean Christina Paxson. “His work is not simply ‘ivory tower,’ but also focuses on real world problems. He will lead OPR in a way that ensures that the research is not only high quality but also has practical application – particularly on the newer areas of focus for OPR such as health, migration, and social policy.”

Massey joins a distinguished group of scholars who have served as director of the Office of Population research. Frank Notestein was the founding director and served from 1936 to 1959, followed by Ansley Coale (1959-1975), Charles Westoff (1975-1992), Marta Tienda (1998-2002) and James Trussell (1992-1998 and 2002-2011).  

Massey is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is Past-President of the Population Association of America and the American Sociological Association and current President of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Prior to his work at Princeton, Massey was the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Population Studies Center, and chair of its Graduate Group in Demography. Before that he served on the faculty of the University of Chicago where he directed its Latin American Studies Center and Population Research Center. During 1979 and 1980 he undertook postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1978.