Sunil Iyengar

Research & Analysis Director

Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Under his leadership, the office has produced dozens of research reports, hosted periodic research events and webinars, led strategic plan development for the agency, and established research and data partnerships with the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. His office also conducts program evaluations and performance measurement for the NEA. Working with his team, Iyengar has created and pursued a long-term research agenda (based partly on an arts “system map” his office helped to design), founded a national data repository for the arts, and launched two awards programs for arts researchers. He chairs a federal  Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development.  As of August 2018, the NEA’s most recent research publications include Rural Arts, Design, and Innovation in America and Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts. He contributes a monthly research post (titled “Taking Note”) to the NEA’s official blog. Iyengar and his team have partnered with organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institutes to Health to study the arts in relation to such topics as economic development and health and well-being. Prior to joining the NEA as research director,  Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poems and book reviews.  Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.