SRI Logo


Debra L. Schultz, PhD

Director of Qualitative Research

With approximately 25 years of experience in policy, political, and marketing research, Dr. Debra Schultz has participated in, and provided oversight for, studies in both the public and private sectors.  She is an expert in advanced interviewing techniques, strategic planning, persuasion, business communications, and intercultural communications.

Prior to joining SRI, Dr. Schultz was on the faculty of Communication at UCLA and, prior to that, held fellowships on the faculty of Communication at New York University (NYU). While in New York, she was a member of the research staff of ABC's Goodnight America and Good Morning America programs.

Dr. Schultz oversees all of the qualitative aspects of the Institute's research projects. These activities include, but are not limited to, field research, descriptive and secondary research, recruiting physicians, benefits managers, high level executives and "influentials" for focus group research (especially when there is very limited turnaround time to meet client deadlines), and other forms of information gathering.

Dr. Schultz has consulted with cities, counties, special districts, JPA's (joint powers
of authority), among other agencies/organizations in both the public and private
sectors to identify strategies to optimize communications across cultures to improve access to transpor­ta­tion, business districts, and services for populaces for whom English is a second language.  She assisted cities and counties in the process of creating transportation signage and web-based materials, in more than 11 languages, to optimize the public sector's outreach to a diverse workforce.

She has interviewed top-level executives in the largest corporations in major cities throughout the nation as part of bolstering economic development designed to attract new business and light industry to Client cities, create new jobs, and keep their respective communities vibrant).  For example, Dr. Schultz interviewed CEOs and corporate top management in more than 30 cities to determine the viability of wiring their respective communities with fiberoptics (fiber-to-the "last mile" for FTTB and FTTH).

Her academic credentials include a Masters and Ph.D. in Communication from New York University.

Debra L. Schultz, PhD