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Public Trustee

Mr Humphrey TaylorMr. Humphrey J.F. Taylor

Humphrey Taylor, an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has been a public trustee of the Academy's Board of Trustees since 1994. He has served as chairman of The Harris Poll®, a service of Harris Interactive, since 1994. He has had overall responsibility for more than 8,000 surveys in 80 countries.

Taylor was born in a tent in Iran and has lived in India, Malawi, Tanzania, Paraguay, Britain and currently resides in New York. He was educated in Britain at Gordonstoun School in Scotland, and Cambridge University with B.A. in mathematics and social anthropology. He served for two years in the British Army in Malawi. After graduation he worked for the government of Tanzania for three years -- both before and after independence -- as a district officer and magistrate, where he raised a leopard that appeared in a movie with John Wayne.

After working in Paraguay in 1962 to 1963, Taylor returned to England and began working in survey research. In 1966, he left to found his own company, Opinion Research Centre, of which he was chief executive officer from its foundation until 1976.

While in Britain, Taylor conducted all of the private political polling for the Conservative Party and was a close advisor to Prime Minister Edward Heath in the 1970 campaign and subsequently to Margaret Thatcher. In 1970, Taylor's firm was acquired by Louis Harris and Associates, and Taylor took responsibility for building the Harris organization's international business. In 1976, he moved to New York. He was appointed president of Harris in 1981, chief executive officer in 1992 and chairman in 1994.

Taylor has testified to congressional committees and subcommittees on Social Security, health care cost containment, Medicare, aging, policies affecting the disabled, drug exports, taxation of employee benefits and privacy. He has presented on these subjects in the White House and on Capitol Hill. He has published many articles and papers on survey research and public policy and written editorial page articles for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the London Times. Taylor has been a guest lecturer at the University of California at San Francisco, the Kennedy School and the School of Public Health at Harvard, Oxford, New York University. He has published more than 1,000 articles, columns, papers and book chapters. He broadcasts frequently on radio and television. He is the author of chapters on opinion polls in two leading textbooks on marketing research in both the United States and Europe (published by AMA and ESOMAR).

Taylor was chairman of the board of the American Health Foundation for six years. He is currently chairman of the National Council on Public Polls and is also a board member/trustee for the National Organization on Disability, the Royal Society of Medicine Foundation and the International Longevity Center.


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