Co-Director, Center for Social Measurement and Evaluation
David McClendon holds a Ph.D. and Masters of Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors degree in Religious Studies from the College of William and Mary. He joined CHILDREN AT RISK in May 2017. Prior to joining CHILDREN AT RISK, David worked as a Research Associate at Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., where he studied global demographics and religion. His dissertation examined social inequalities in marriage and family life among young adults. He has published academic articles in Demography and Journal of Marriage and Family. David is passionate about using data to inform policy-makers and the public about issues central to improving the lives of Texas children.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Disney animator. But I’m glad I didn’t pursue that dream because Pixar and computer animation have made it obsolete. Although, maybe I would have ended up becoming a cartoonist for the New Yorker.
Which teacher had the greatest impact on you?
My tenth grade history teacher. He taught me the importance of politics and staying informed. His penchant for conspiracy theories – and my later rejection of most of them – also instilled in me a degree of skepticism and intellectual independence I would not have had otherwise.
What is your dream for Texas children?
My dream is that every Texas child has the opportunity and encouragement to reach his or her full potential, regardless of family background. Texas is a big state – it should have room enough for everyone.