The APM Research Lab: Bringing facts into focus

The APM Research Lab is generously supported by an anonymous fund of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation.
Interested in supporting our work? Please read about APM’s “Fact Fund”
Interested in partnering with us on research projects? Please see our services page
Interested in working for us (or other parts of APM)? See available opportunities
Anything else? Contact us

The APM Research Lab is a division of American Public Media aimed at informing the public by producing credible research- and analysis-based content.

Our Mission: To foster an engaged democracy by inspiring curiosity, inquiry and discussion through fact-driven, credible research and analysis.

Our Values: Independent, Useful, Informative, Non-partisan

The APM Research Lab is home to a team of researchers and analysts who inform and equip the communities we serve with both original and curated research, facts and analysis. This work helps inform journalists, civic and business leaders, and others who want to know what the best data and the best research has to say about challenges and opportunities facing families, communities, and organizations throughout the nation.

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The Research Lab conducts research projects of all types — surveys, demographic analyses, literature reviews, and more — and informs the work of partner organizations and the broader public through traditional reports, as well as infographics, blog posts, data visualizations, other interactives, presentations, and other platforms.

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The Research Lab augments the work of other members of the American Public Media Group family, including Marketplace, APM Reports, Minnesota Public Radio News, Southern California Public Radio, the Water Main, and Call to Mind.

Meet the Research Lab staff

Craig Helmstetter, Managing Partner (e-mail or 651-290-1219)

Helmstetter leads the Research Lab, directing the overall agenda and developing new projects, as well as providing hands-on analysis. Helmstetter joins APM from Wilder Research, where he helped establish and then lead its Minnesota Compass initiative. In that role, he created and managed research projects, marketed research and data analysis services, developed and oversaw a research team, and frequently gave presentations on major social, economic and demographic trends facing communities throughout the state.

Helmstetter also has experience as an evaluator with Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor’s Office, a project manager with a survey research center, and currently serves as president of the board of the Community Indicators Consortium. He is a graduate of Luther College (1992), and received both a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning (1997) and a Ph.D. in Sociology (2001) from the University of Oregon, where he focused on quantitative methods, survey research, public opinion, and social stratification.

Andi Egbert, Senior Research Associate (e-mail or 651-290-1403)

Egbert relishes telling stories with data. She comes to APM from the Minnesota State Demographic Center, where she served as assistant director and provided expert data analysis to policymakers, government staff, the media, and organizations. Egbert wrote and presented regularly across Minnesota on topics such as aging, education, immigration, poverty, and the workforce.

Previously, Egbert served as a research scientist for Minnesota Compass, a data indicators project at Wilder Research, and prepared the annual Minnesota KIDS COUNT data book as research director at the Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota. She has also served as a writer and editor for several publications.

Egbert holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, with concentrations in social policy and vulnerable populations (2005), and has completed additional coursework in demographic methods. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in journalism and humanities from Valparaiso University (1998).

Kassira Absar, Research Associate (e-mail or 651-290-1457)

Absar joins APM from OpenGlobalRights at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she was a research fellow and lead project manager on an international survey exploring the potential for local funding for human rights organizations in Mexico City, Mexico and Bogotá, Colombia. She helped design, implement, and analyze the study.

Absar has also lived and worked in the Basque Country of Spain, as well as Colombia, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Absar holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (2009) and a Master in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs (2015).