Dr. Brian J. Grim

Brian is founding president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. Brian is the world’s leading expert on the relationship between religious freedom and the economy.

Brian holds a doctorate in quantitative sociology from Penn State and is author of scores of academic articles and books. He is former chair of the World Economic Forum’s global council on the role of faith and a speaker at Davos. Brian was previously a senior researcher and director of international data at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC. He lived and worked in China, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the former USSR, where he was instrumental in setting up the first western-style business school in the Soviet Union, which was dissolved in his office building.

Brian’s recent widely reported research finds that religion contributes $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, more than the combined revenues of the top 10 technology U.S. companies including Apple, Amazon and Google.

Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact. He is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a regular speaker at the annual Forum on Workplace Inclusion.

Brian is a global expert on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom. He is a research associate at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (CURA) and a Non-Resident Scholar at the Institute for the Studies of Religion (ISR) at Baylor University. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute in Washington, DC.

Brian was previously an advisor for the religion & geopolitics project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and an associate scholar at the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University. He was a speaker at the first-ever Vatican TEDx event at the Vatican.

Prior to becoming the Foundation’s founding president in 2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. His books include The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge Univ. Press), The World Religion Database (Brill), The World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley) and The Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill).

Brian has appeared as an expert on global religion on numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Fox, CBS, C-SPAN, and regularly presents to high level audiences throughout the world including the White House, State Department, European Parliament, the Vatican, and various the United Nations bodies including the Human Rights Council, and the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the UN Global Compact.

Brian is the recipient of many academic and civic awards, including:

– 2018 World Peace Award
– 2017 Korean Peninsula Peace Prize
– 2017 Pontifical University Religious Freedom Award
– 2016 Distinguished Article Award from the American Sociological Association
– 2016 Religious Freedom Award, from the North American Religious Liberty Association
– 2012 European Population Association Research Award
– 2010 World Association for Public Opinion Research outstanding research article award
– 2009 Distinguished Article Award from the American Sociological Association

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