Census Director to Step Down


U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves will step down in August to become the Provost at Georgetown University.

Groves has led the Census Bureau since 2009 and directed the completion of the 2010 Census that was finished on time and under its $1.9 billion budget. He has also helped shape the strategy for planning a more cost-efficient 2020 Census.


“I have had the privilege of working closely with Bob during his tenure here, and have been consistently impressed by his vision and creativity,” said Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank. “His leadership is a significant loss for the Department, but his contributions will not be soon forgotten. We are all grateful for his service to the Commerce Department, to this administration and to the American people, and we wish him the best of luck in his exciting new role.”

Groves bio:

President Barack Obama nominated Robert M. Groves for director of the U.S. Census Bureau on April 2, 2009, and the Senate confirmed him on July 13, 2009. He began his tenure as director on July 15, 2009.

Groves had been a professor at the University of Michigan and director of its Survey Research Center, as well as research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.

He was the Census Bureau’s Associate Director for Statistical Design, Methodology and Standards from 1990 to 1992, on loan from the University of Michigan.

Groves has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of scientific articles. His 1989 book, Survey Errors and Survey Costs, was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. His book, Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys, with Mick Couper, written during his time at the Census Bureau, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award.

He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Statistical Association, and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research. He is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a National Associate of the National Research Council, U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

He is the recipient of the Innovator Award and the distinguished achievement award of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the O’Neill Award of the New York Association for Public Opinion Research, the Helen Dinerman Award of the World Association for Public Opinion Research, and Julius Shiskin Memorial Award of the National Association of Business Economics and the American Statistical Association, in recognition of contributions in the development of economic statistics.

Groves has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and master’s degrees in statistics and sociology from the University of Michigan. He also earned his doctorate at Michigan.

He and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons − Christopher a recent graduate of Purdue University and Andrew, currently a student at Northwestern University.


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