Jillian Powers is an applied sociologist with over ten years of experience in the public and private sector designing human-centered research practices and interpreting trends for clients in a range of industries including media and entertainment, automotive, education, retail, healthcare, and non-profits. She is an expert in the American cultural experience and has focused her inquiry on topics such as immigration, diversity, heritage, tourism, popular culture, and higher education. Her work has been featured in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, online and print sources, and she regularly uses her data and research to inform and advise community organizations, journalists, students, as well as international foundations. Recently, she gave a Tedx talk entitled, the New American Normal, and facilitated a workshop for AmeriCorps on the American Dream. She was the 2015-2016 Association of Jewish Studies Berman Early Career Fellow, a lecturer in American Studies at Brandeis University, a Florence Kay Fellow with a specialization in Immigration and American Society at Brandeis University, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University and her BA in Sociology from Dartmouth College. Currently lives in Brooklyn with her geriatric, but much loved dog, Brutus.

Jillian Powers, PhD is an applied sociologist, educator, and general rabble rouser. In 2016, after another disappointing year on the academic job market, she went rogue. She now works in the private sector as a strategist and research consultant. As the Senior Resident Ethnographer at Idea Couture, a Cognizant company, she builds human-centered research projects to inform business innovation, digital systems, and people processes.


She also teaches civics and democracy to high school seniors at Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem and advocates for pay equity and reform in education. She has lots of strong opinions, and has been regularly called a “difficult” woman.