Janelle Wong received her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Yale University. She is a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the University of Maryland in 2012, she was at the University of Southern California in the Departments of Political Science and American Studies and Ethnicity. Wong is author of Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions (2006, University of Michigan Press) and co-author of two books on Asian American politics, including Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities (2011, Russell Sage Foundation), based on the first nationally representative survey of Asian Americans’ political attitudes and behavior. This groundbreaking study of Asian Americans was conducted in eight different languages with six different Asian national origin groups. Wong has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Irvine Foundation, and Carnegie Foundation. She was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, in 2006-2007.
Wong’s research is on race, immigration, and political mobilization. Her most recent book is Immigration, Evangelicals and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change. The book focuses on how white evangelical Christians react to demographic change, particularly growing numbers of Latinx and Asian Americans, and how the latter groups will impact the traditional conservative Christian movement and immigrant political participation. The study is based on qualitative interviews, participant observation in Los Angeles and Houston, and analysis of survey data.
As a scholar and teacher, Wong has worked closely with social service, labor, civil rights, and media organizations that serve the Asian American population.