Brian J. Grim, Ph.D., President
Brian J. Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and a leading expert on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom. Brian recently served as chair of the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council on the role of faith (2015-16).
Brian holds a visiting professorship at St. Mary’s University in London, where he is developing the RFBF’s Empowerment+ initiative to increase religious freedom by helping those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism become self-reliant. Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC.
Brian is an advisor for the religion & geopolitics project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He is also an associate scholar at the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University and an affiliated scholar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (see full CV).
Prior to becoming the Foundation’s president in 2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. He also worked for two decades as an educator in the former Soviet Union, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Brian holds a doctorate in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and is author of numerous articles and books including 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). Dr. Grim writes the Weekly Number Blog and also is a TEDx speaker. He also writes the Weekly Rhyme, adding to a large body of poetry he’s written through the years.
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.