LUIS E. LUGO became the director of the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life in January 2004. During his tenure, the Pew Forum has become a leading research organization on issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. He has led the Pew Forum in developing landmark surveys on religion, including the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which detailed the religious makeup, religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political attitudes of the American public, and the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, the first comprehensive effort to gauge the state of religious knowledge among U.S. adults. In addition to overseeing the Pew Forum’s annual surveys on religion and politics, Luis helped guide the development of the first-ever, nationwide, random-sample survey of Muslim Americans and a landmark survey of Latinos’ religious affiliations, beliefs and practices.
Luis has been instrumental in expanding the Pew Forum’s international research efforts. This global research has included a 10-country survey of Pentecostals, as well as a survey of the religious landscape of sub-Saharan Africa. Under his direction, the Pew Forum also has included demographic and coding research in its portfolio. The Pew Forum is now studying the size, distribution and projected growth of the world’s religious populations, with a study on the world’s Muslim population already released. Using a specially developed coding methodology, the Pew Forum produces an annual analysis of the level of religious restrictions in 198 countries. These research efforts are part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, whose goal is to document and analyze religious change in societies around the world.
Prior to joining the Pew Forum, Luis served as the director of the religion program at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, a position he held for seven years. Before joining the Trusts, he was a professor of political science for more than 12 years, teaching courses in international relations, Latin American politics, and religion and politics. After studying at the University of Memphis (B.A.) and Villanova University (M.A.), he earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Chicago. A native of Cuba, he is listed in Who's Who Among Hispanic Americans.