Graduate Studies

Brian Robick, Ph.D., 2002


Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work at the nexus of research, public education, political strategy, data analysis, and technology. As Online Communications Director at the ACLU of Washington, I oversee the organization’s digital properties, including its websites, social media, video, mobile tools and applications, and e-advocacy platforms. Additionally, I serve as a member of the affiliate’s leadership team and as a strategist working with project directors and policy staff to advance the ACLU’s priorities through research, data analysis and visualization, GIS mapping, and online advocacy campaign management.

At the ACLU, I led the They Are Watching public education campaign on the effects of government surveillance technology, which won an Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts Communicator of Distinction Award. I have also partnered with attorneys, social workers and data scientists to research a wide range of issues affecting our civil liberties including the militarization of police, school discipline, the treatment of pregnant and parenting teenagers, and the drivers of mass incarceration.

Additionally, I served as the Online Communications Advisor for the New Approach Washington campaign to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in Washington State. The passage of this ballot initiative measure has made Washington State a leader in the nation for treating marijuana use as a public health, rather than a criminal justice, issue. I created the campaign’s online outreach and public education strategy, led its online voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, and participated in the creation of the campaign’s branding and messaging strategy.

My education at Carnegie Mellon has been invaluable to me throughout my career. I particularly value the department’s focus on building both qualitative and quantitative research skills, its mix of social and policy history, and the collaborative environment that it fosters for its scholars. Although my research focused on U.S. and Canadian urban planning history, the skills that I acquired at Carnegie Mellon have enabled me to pivot quickly and effectively between topics and research teams. I am fortunate to have an opportunity to help influence the way that the government and its policies affect people in their daily lives and my time at Carnegie Mellon prepared me for the challenge.