Following the assumption of Dr. Robin Michael Garcia as WR Advisory Group’s President and CEO, political scientist Cleve Arguelles has been appointed as the new president and CEO of polling and data analytics firm WR Numero Research, starting March 2023.
Arguelles has been with the firm since 2021 as Fellow and Head of Research. He will succeed Dr. Robin Michael Garcia, who will be stepping up as President and CEO of WR Advisory Group Inc, the mother company of WR Numero Research.
“Cleve is among the most cited political scientists in the country. His insights are also sought-after by local and foreign media. His extensive knowledge in electoral politics is exactly what we need to usher WR Numero towards becoming the leading public opinion research firm in the country and the Asia Pacific,” Garcia, who will be WR Numero’s chairman, said.
Outside his role in WR Numero, Arguelles serves as Assistant Professional Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Development Studies at De La Salle University, and instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Santo Tomas. He is also a PhD candidate in the Department of Political and Social Change at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the prestigious Australian National University.
Arguelles focuses largely on the study of democracy in Southeast Asia, covering democratic decline, disinformation, and populism. His work has been published in various publications, such as the Asian Politics & Policy, Democratic Theory, and Review of Women’s Studies.
In 2022, Arguelles ranked 10th in the list of the most cited work in political science, and among the top 100 in social science in the Philippines. The list included known political scientists, such as Clarissa David, Herman Kraft, and Julio Teehankee. The AD Scientific Index measured the citations made in the last five years.
Under his leadership, WR Numero wants to become the preferred public opinion research firm for leaders and organizations in development, government, and politics, big data analytics, public opinion polling, and data-driven social and policy research.
By 2025, the company aims to be a trusted national institution with a distinctive voice and strong impact recognized by the broader public as well as to serve as a model academia-industry hub for the best research talents in data sciences and social sciences.
This strategic transition comes as political advisory firm W&R becomes WR Advisory Group to integrate its expertise in three key service areas–data, strategy, and communications. In effect, WR Numero will officially become a subsidiary of the group.
As Arguelles takes lead, Joshua Angelo Bata will take over as WR Numero’s fellow and Head of Research. Bata is a Graduate Professional in the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme (CAAP) of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He has also led studies for Oxfam Pilipinas, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, among other civil society organizations.
The team will also include Dr. Ador Torneo as the firm’s senior fellow and Head of Methodology. Dr. Torneo is a full professor at the Political Science and Development Studies Department at De La Salle University. He also sits as the Director of the Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance of the La Salle Institute of Governance.
Garcia initially founded political advisory firm W&R in 2017, offering businesses insights on political-economic risks to mitigate hard-hitting political impact. The firm advised industries, such as banks, mining, telecom, and energy. The firm was quickly recognized in the Philippines and even abroad as it collaborated with organizations in Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Australia.
As demand for surveys and opinion research emerged ahead of the 2019 midterm elections, what was then W&R expanded its services to polling research. The need for rigor and a singular focus on opinion research prompted the creation of a separate entity. What would be called WR Numero Research was formally established in early 2020.
WR Numero uses advanced data analytics, sentiment analysis, and surveys among others to opinions and sentiment. The firm has conducted surveys on Filipinos’ perception of China, corruption allegations against the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and the non-renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise between 2020 and 2021. It has also been tapped by presidential contenders, candidates for the Senate, congress, and other local mayoral, congressional, and gubernatorial races during the 2022 National Elections.
WR Numero has also been trusted by local and foreign media, such as Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer, GMA7, One News, CNN, Aljazeera, ABC News Australia, and South China Morning Post to name a few.
Five years after venturing into the public affairs industry, WR is expanding anew not just to equip leaders and organizations with accurate data, but also to provide a sophisticated understanding of society and politics and advise on how to effectively influence it.