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Peyton Williams

Peyton Williams

Social Scientist and Qualitative Researcher


MPH, Public Health Leadership, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, Public Policy Analysis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Peyton Williams is a social scientist with expertise that spans the health communication continuum, from initial exploratory and formative research, to message testing, to process and outcome evaluation. 

Mr. Williams is an experienced focus group moderator and interviewer with over 20 years of experience conducting hundreds of individual interviews and focus groups for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and more. He applies his methodological skills to many topics including HIV, sexually transmitted disease, substance use, food safety, and prescription drug promotion. In tobacco use, he studied topics including modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs), harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs), and consumer understanding of the continuum of harm of tobacco product categories.

For populations, he has interviewed vulnerable at-risk populations including men who have sex with men (MSM), victims of sexual assault in the military, intravenous drug users, transgender individuals, tobacco users, persons with HIV, and youth. He has also interviewed health care providers including emergency room physicians, infectious disease specialists, primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and nurses. 

As an expert in focus group methodology, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Odum Institute, he teaches a 2-day intensive workshop, Introduction to Focus Groups, twice a year. In this workshop he trains faculty, researchers, and graduate students in the fundamentals of hosting and moderating focus groups. 

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