Funk is a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Forum
on Religion & Public Life. Her background is in political science, social
psychology and survey research, and she has extensive experience designing survey research studies and analyzing
public opinion data. Cary specializes in the relationship between
religion and other domains, including social attitudes, political attitudes and
attitudes toward science and biotechnology.
Cary began her career at CBS News in New York, where
she worked on pre-election surveys and exit polls; in more recent years, she served
as an election night analyst for NBC News. While an associate professor at
Virginia Commonwealth University, she directed the VCU Life Sciences Surveys,
national surveys focused on public
attitudes about science and biotechnology. In addition, she directed statewide
polls on politics and public policy issues and on K-12 education.
In addition to serving on the political
science faculty at Rice University and VCU before joining the Pew Research
Center, she worked on a range of survey
research projects on behalf of Pew Research, including its global survey of evangelical Protestant leaders.
Her work includes numerous journal publications on
voter evaluations of candidates, the role of self-interest and societal
interest on policy attitudes, and genetic and environmental influences on
ideology and political behavior.
Cary earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in social psychology
from the University of California, Los Angeles.