Raymond J. Struyk has joined the International Projects department of National Opinion Research Center (NORC), at the University of Chicago in September of 2007. He previously held the position of chief-of-party for the USAID-financed Egypt Financial Services Project. He has held several other positions, including senior fellow at the Urban Institute, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Struyk, who will work in NORC's Washington, DC office as a senior fellow, is best known for his work on social assistance, policy formulation, and housing sector reform. He has led major projects fostering independent think tanks in countries undergoing economic transition, and he has over 20 years experience working in transition and developing countries, including a six-year residency in Russia, three years in Budapest, and a year in Cairo.
Struyk’s involvement in policy formulation, particularly in the role of think tanks in this process, began with an effort in the 1980s to define and promote the creation of a truly independent think tank in Japan. In the 1990s, while resident in Russia, he helped establish the Institute for Urban Economics, a Moscow think tank still operating today. He also authored a book about the evolution of think tanks in the former Soviet bloc, directed think tank mentoring projects in Bosnia and Azerbaijan, and provided consulting services to at least a dozen think tanks.
His other primary expertise is in housing policy and reform. In the early 1990s, he worked on housing sector reform in Hungary. In 1992, he became director of USAID’s Shelter Sector Reform Program of technical assistance to the Russian Federation. In this role, he was involved in the design and implementation of Russia’s housing allowance program, the country’s first means-tested program. The project included creating USAID’s overall housing program for the Russian Federation, creating a housing finance system, reforming municipal housing, and shifting municipalities to legal zoning to regulate land use. Most recently, he executed housing finance feasibility studies in Armenia and Kyrgzstan and served as resident director of the large Egypt Financial Services project to develop the country’s mortgage sector.