The director of the Siena College Research Institute has been named to the annual Albany Power 100 list created by City & State.
Don Levy, Ph.D., who has been director of the SCRI since 2007, was ranked at 97. It is the same rank he held last year, which was his first appearance on the Power 100 list.
Dr. Levy has been instrumental in focusing Siena’s polling not only on statewide and local politics but also on economic and social issues important to all New Yorkers. The SCRI poll results preceding the 2016 presidential election received international attention, and were prominently featured in the New York Times’ Upshot section.
“When it comes to public policy and election polling, many New York politicos rely on Siena College’s research. As director of the Siena College Research Institute, Don Levy wields great influence in measuring the support or opposition of issues and candidates – something that does not go unnoticed by political parties,” said the write-up accompanying his entry. “Levy often appears in news articles about ongoing Albany issues. Outside of politics, the Siena College Research Institute has been employed by private companies because of its reliable results.”
City & State New York is a Manhattan-based media company devoted solely to covering government and politics in New York. They release an annual list ranking the most powerful people in New York state government, and another list for those in New York City government.
The list is compiled by City & State’s editorial staff, and public figures on the list are selected based on their ability to effect change, their political or business constituency, proximity to power, policies shaped, and the effectiveness of the programs and offices they run.
Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., president of Siena College, acknowledged the importance of the SCRI:
“Siena College greatly appreciates the continuous work the Research Institute does to provide access to high quality data and research on political, social, cultural and life interests.”
The top five spots on the Power 100 Albany list went to:
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo
- Sen. Charles Schumer
- President Donald Trump
- NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
- NYS Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan
Founded in 1980, the SCRI is an academically-situated polling operation that conducts regional, statewide and national surveys on business, economic, political, voter, social, academic and historical issues. The surveys include both expert and public opinion polls. The results of SCRI surveys are featured regularly in local, state and national media outlets, as well as in scholarly journals and books.
In addition to supervising SCRI’s political and economic polling, Dr. Levy has conducted studies while at Siena on the implications of the recession, civic engagement, health, charitable giving, community well-being, retirement and aging, and most recently on cyberbullying. He has recently completed polling in partnership with major media outlets including the New York Times, C-SPAN, Newsday, the Albany Times Union and the Buffalo News.
Dr. Levy designed and has supervised the Upstate Business Leaders Survey since its start in 2007. He is one of the principal investigators on the National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement, and based on polling conducted at SCRI authored the recently released article, “Public Opinion Polling and New York Politics and Governance” in the Oxford Handbook of New York State Government and Politics.
Dr. Levy holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. from Yale University.