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Karen Stein Joins Abt as Lead Survey Methodologist

Rockville, Md.  –  Abt Associates announced today that Dr. Karen Stein has joined the company as Lead Survey Methodologist in the Data Science, Surveys and Enabling Technologies Division. Stein will serve as the lead survey and data collection methodologist for multiple Abt projects. Her focus includes:

  • Development of topic-specific questionnaires
  • Focus group and cognitive interviewing to improve understanding of questions and ensure the accuracy of the information collected
  • Evaluating the materials used to contact project participants.

She will focus particularly on the equity aspects of data collection to reduce bias in results, from ensuring the messaging to participants is culturally appropriate to aligning how we conduct the survey to the technologies participants use (e.g., telephone, in-person, web, smartphone, etc.).

Stein brings more than 15 years of research experience, developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys and qualitative studies, managing projects and programs, and overseeing focus groups. She has overseen teams designing methodologies, including 1:1 interviews, usability testing, and data analysis. She has made recommendations to major clients such as the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Census Bureau, Food and Nutrition Service, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Department of Justice.

During her career, Dr. Stein led or contributed to more than 30 studies on topics ranging from prescription drug labeling and opioid misuse to e-cigarette use. She orchestrated a rapid message testing project to evaluate FDA messaging for consumers and healthcare professionals and led evaluation tasks for communications materials for the Census Bureau. 

She also organized focus groups to evaluate the messaging effectiveness of a public health campaign on skin cancer in Black and Hispanic populations. She managed operations for large- and small-scale client surveys. Stein conducted literature reviews, including one for a national study of health messaging, advertising, and eye-tracking technology. She performed cognitive and usability testing of the National Crime Victimization Survey for the DOJ. She also served as senior study director at Westat.

“I’m extremely pleased to have Dr. Stein on our team,” said Michael Link, vice president, Data Science, Surveys, and Enabling Technologies Division. “Her experience and expertise are critical to advancing our work ensuring equity as a cornerstone of our work, ensuring broad representation in the projects we conduct, and reducing the risk of bias in the reports we produce.”

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges.

Eric Tischler
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