The statue of James Smithson in front of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC

Our Work

And What We Can Do for You

Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research (SOAR) works with clients across the Smithsonian to improve decision making, solve problems, and improve for the future. We have two focuses: promoting organizational effectiveness within the Smithsonian, and furthering a superior experience for all Smithsonian audiences.


To carry out objective, relevant research and analysis that furthers the Smithsonian’s effectiveness.

Our Experience

SOAR has existed in the Smithsonian for more than three decades, first as the Institutional Studies Office (ISO), then as the Office of Policy and Analysis (OP&A), and now as Smithsonian Organization and Audience Research. Over the course of these three decades of experience, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge about the Smithsonian as an institution, as an organization, and as a nexus of learning. 

SOAR's staff has extensive practical experience as well as a rich and diverse academic background. Each member of our research team has an advanced degree (either at the Master's or Ph.D. level). Together, they represent deep knowledge in a wide range of fields; this allows us to work with clients as diverse as the Smithsonian is. 

Our staff have degrees in: Economics, Education, Public Policy, History, Organizational Development, Curatorial Studies, Statistics, and more. We have expertise in a range of areas such as  Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Marketing, Strategic Planning, Survey Development, Performance Measurement, Group Facilitation, Project Management, and Organizational Climate Assessment. 

Learn more about how we can work with your unit here.