Steve Murdock, Ph.D., is the founding Director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas. Dr. Murdock holds the Allyn and Gladys Cline Chair in Sociology at Rice University. He is the former Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, The State Demographer of Texas, holder of a Regents Chair at Texas A&M University, The Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a noted scholar with 13 books and more than 150 articles and analytical reports. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from North Dakota State University, the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award from the Rural, Sociological Society, a recipient of the Excellence in Research Awards from the Rural Sociological Society, Faculty Distinguished Research Award from Texas A&M University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and the Phi Eat Sigma national honorary societies. He is also noted in applied and Texas governmental circles having been named as one of the 50 most influential Texans by Texas Business in 1997 and one of the 25 most influential Texans by Texas Monthly in 2005. He has extensive experience in research on a wide variety of issues impacting Texas and is widely known as a national expert in the areas of Demography, Rural Sociology and Socioeconomic Impact Assessment.