Gonzalo Rivero

Associate Director of Research @ Pew Research Center


Office 721

1615 L Street NW

Washington, DC, 20036

I am a data scientist and social researcher specialized in the design and development of tools that facilitate the collection of high quality social data. I use machine learning and statistical models to build rapid feedback applications and quality control systems, and to enrich traditional survey data with new digital sources. I often write about digital politics, computational methodology, and survey research.

I currently serve as associate director of Data Labs, the computational social research team at Pew Research Center, where I co-manage its research and operations. Our goal is to complement the overall mission of the organization to “enrich the public dialogue and support sound decision-making” using new methods and data sources.

Before joining Pew Research Center, I worked as senior data science manager and principal statistician at Westat, a research services company in Rockville, MD, where I built machine learning tools to make the collection of survey data more efficient. At Westat, I also advised senior leadership on emerging data technologies and on modern practices in reproducibility. I started my career as statistician in the Scientific Research Group of YouGov, an online opt-in panel, in Palo Alto, California.

Resume →

Although I have developed my entire professional career in industry, I have maintained an active academic profile. I started my career working on the consequences of factionalism in coercive institutions for political instability in democracies and autocracies. Recently, I have become interested in how digital tools impact political participation and representation.

In 2020, I published my second book Retooling Politics: How Digital Media Are Shaping Democracy (Cambridge University Press), coauthored with Andreas Jungherr and Daniel Gayo-Avello. In it, we use a needs-based framework to re-asses the recent research on the flow and reach of political information, the role of data in politics, and the impact of digital tools on constatation, political organizations, and democracy at large.

I received my MA and Ph.D. in Politics from New York University. Before that, I graduated in Social Sciences (MA) and History (BA and MA). Originally from Galicia (Spain), I am currently based in Washington, D.C. More information can be found in my CV.


Nov 15, 2021 New report on the behaviors and attitudes of U.S. Twitter users
Sep 30, 2021 New report on use of social media by Members of the U.S. Congress
Feb 8, 2021 I started as Associate Director of Data Labs at Pew Research Center
Dec 26, 2020 I am quoted in El País in an article about polarization in social media
Dec 1, 2020 I have been promoted to Senior Data Science Manager (Principal Statistician)!