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.