Obama Names Chicago Survey Center Chief as Census Director

Flickr user quinnanya

President Obama has named John H. Thompson, the president and CEO of the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, to be the next Census director.

Thompson would bring four decades of experience as a statistician, including two decades at the Commerce Department in various positions.

Census has been without a director since Robert Graves resigned last year to become provost at Georgetown University.

The selection of Thompson, which had been rumored for weeks among interest groups concerned about proposals to cut Census funding, was welcomed as a “wise choice” by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Most people know that the Census Bureau is the government agency charged with counting our nation’s population every 10 years,” Carper said in a statement. “What is less known, but still critically important, is that the Census Bureau regularly provides the government, business, and academia with an updated picture of who we are as individuals, communities, and a nation.”

Carper said Thompson’s “several years working in management positions at the bureau and his previous tenure there means he is familiar with the agency’s unique culture and mission and he understands the important link between a well-run agency and a successful enumeration.”

Phil Sparks, co-director of the Census Project, a coalition of 600 associations, think tanks, academics, local officials and civil rights groups, said Thompson will make “an excellent director of the Census Bureau.” He has “solid previous experience in senior management of the bureau and is currently head of what most people consider the most prestigious survey research center in America,” Sparks told Government Executive. He added that he hoped there would be no resistance in the Senate because “the bureau has been waiting for a director since August 2012.”

While at Commerce, Thompson was chief of the Decennial Management Division, worked in the Statistical Support Division from 1987 to 1995 and the Statistical Methods Division from 1975 to 1987. He has been a member of the American Statistical Association since 1975, according to a White House bio, and is currently a member of the Committee on National Statistics with the National Academy of Sciences. Thompson received a B.S. and M.S. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

(Image via Flickr user quinnanya)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.