Molly O’Rourke is a partner at Hart Research and has been with the company for more than 15 years. She directs research projects for a variety of advocacy and nonprofit organizations, political candidates and parties, and media outlets, including NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Her work involves both qualitative and quantitative research to inform communication efforts and includes moderating focus groups, testing advertising concepts, and data analytics.
Currently, Molly also serves as an Executive in Residence at American University’s School of Communication where she is the director of the master’s program in Political Communication. She teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in Research Methodology and Electoral Communication, among other subjects.
Molly started her career in politics working for the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and at EMILY’s List, the women’s political action committee. For several years, she co-wrote a monthly column about politics and public opinion, titled “Behind the Numbers” for The Hill. Molly also has served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and guest lectured on research and communication at Duke University, Brown University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
A political science major at Brown University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, Molly holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Kellogg Foundation Fellowship.