Our work depends on testing and investing in the best ways to develop young people’s talents for more productive and meaningful lives. Our history of research begins with the studies of Donald O Clifton (1924-2003). He dedicated his life as a University faculty member to studying and teaching the identification and development of talent. He built a company, Selection Research, Inc, on putting these principles in action. Selection Research became Gallup in 1989. The development of successful job profiles continued and ultimately contributed to his creation of the Clifton StrengthsFinder. He began the Clifton Foundation in 2000 to support leaders and students in the research and education of strengths development. Dr. Shane Lopez (1970-2016) was the first Director of Research of the Clifton Foundation. He built a team that studied hope, engagement, and wellbeing in youth and worked with researchers around the world on studies of strengths-based development. Mark Pogue (1961-2018) was the inaugural director of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln. This action lab continues to be the largest project of the Clifton Foundation. Mark’s background included working with leaders in hundreds of universities to structure strengths-based environments. The Clifton Foundation has funded the Clifton Strengths Prize awarded to Dr. Shelley Taylor and Dr. Mihaly Csikczentmihalyi, and granted University chairs. Fellowships have been provided to teachers and students over the last twenty years. We are currently seeking research advisors to advance our work.

Published Reports

What is Strengths-Based Education?


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