Allan Rivlin
Guest Author

Allan Rivlin

CEO – Zen Political Research

Allan Rivlin is the CEO of Zen Political Research, a public opinion, marketing research, and communications strategy consulting firm founded in Washington, D.C. by Allan Rivlin and Sheri Rivlin in 2015.  He has spent more than 30 years in Democratic politics, fundraising, advocacy, and polling, including 17 years with Peter D. Hart Research Associates where he was a Partner.  At Hart Research, Rivlin’s major corporate clients included American Airlines, IBM, and Chrysler. Non-profit clients included the American Cancer Society, Environmental Defense, Habitat for Humanity and his political clients included the Democratic National Committee, DSCC and DCCC, as well as many candidates for local, statewide, and national offices.  Zen Political Research’s current clients include the National Association of Manufacturers, International Franchise Association, and the National Institutes of Health.


For 5 years Rivlin wrote the Poll Position column for The National Journal and NationalJournal.com.  Allan Rivlin has been a guest political analyst on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CSPAN, ABCNewsNow, NPR, BBC Radio, and France24.


From 1993 to 1997 Rivlin served in the first Clinton Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Donna E. Shalala.  From 1987 to 1993 Rivlin worked for Mellman • Lazarus • Lake rising to Vice President of this political opinion research consultancy now known as The Mellman Group.


Rivlin received a Masters degree in public and private management (MPPM) from the Yale School of Management in 1984 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University in 1981.  The son of Brookings Institution senior fellow Alice M. Rivlin, Allan has been working with his wife Sheri Rivlin and Alice’s grandson Caleb Jones to complete her final manuscript, “Divided We Fall, Why Consensus Matters” due for publication in 2020 by Brookings Institution Press.

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