At Ambit 360 Consulting, we honor your efforts to make a difference and want to help you succeed. We believe in using the right investigative tools in creative ways to find the answers you need to move forward confidently in your work. Sometimes, the right tool is a survey, sometimes it's a focus group or interviews, sometimes it's rigorous background research. Mostly, it's about asking the right questions and listening carefully. We are also committed to the principle that every project we work on should contribute to making our world a more equitable place.
Larry McGill, Ph.D.
Founder and Principal
Larry brings to Ambit 360 Consulting more than 30 years of multiple-method research and evaluation experience in the philanthropic, academic, and commercial sectors. He has conducted research and written widely in the areas of philanthropic data and practice; arts and culture; media; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Larry previously served as vice president of research at Foundation Center (now Candid) from 2007 to 2020. Under his direction, the Center’s research program expanded rapidly to create dynamic online platforms for aggregating and visualizing global data on philanthropy and placing it in the larger context of emerging needs and international aid flows. He also oversaw the work of CF Insights, Glasspockets, Global Partnerships, GrantCraft, IssueLab, and Philanthropy News Digest.
From 2001 to 2006, Larry was director of research and planning for the Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) and deputy director of Princeton University's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies (CACPS), the country's first and leading center for the study of arts and cultural policy in the United States. His work with CPANDA involved identifying, evaluating and analyzing key social science data sets for inclusion in the Archive, on topics related to artists, arts audiences, arts organizations, and public support for the arts. By the end of 2006, the Archive held more than 200 such data sets. The Archive, renamed the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture (NADAC), is now administered by the National Endowment for the Arts.
From 1994 to 2001, Larry held several positions at The Freedom Forum including director of research and administration for the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University and director of research for The Freedom Forum. He oversaw the Media Studies Center's residential fellowship program, conducted numerous studies on public attitudes toward the news media, and organized and facilitated more than 100 seminars and programs. He helped develop the First Amendment Center's annual State of the First Amendment Survey, wrote extensively on voters' attitudes toward media coverage of the 1996 presidential election and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, and conducted research and developed metrics for the American Society of Newspaper Editors to track the retention of newspaper journalists of color over time.
Larry was manager of news audience research for the National Broadcasting Company from 1989 to 1994, where he analyzed Neilsen ratings data, conducted surveys, and moderated focus groups of news audience members to help NBC News develop news programming. His work led to the development of Dateline NBC, the network's first successful primetime news program after twenty years of failed attempts. Prior to that, Larry was media specialist at Total Research, a marketing research firm in Princeton, New Jersey.
Larry has taught in the departments of sociology and journalism at Northwestern University, where he received his Ph.D. in Sociology. He also holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma.