Director of the U.S. Census Bureau: Who Is John Thompson?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

President Barack Obama last week nominated a career statistician who spent more than 25 years at the U.S. Census Bureau before leaving for the private sector. If confirmed as expected by the Senate, John H. Thompson would succeed Robert Groves, who served from June 2009 to August 2012. 

 

The Census Project, a non-partisan group that represents stakeholders for the decennial survey, praised Obama’s decision and encouraged the Senate to confirm Thompson “so that the bureau can continue serious planning for Census 2020.”

 

Born circa 1951, Thompson earned a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1973 and 1975, respectively. 

 

Thompson soon went to work at the Census Bureau, where he remained from 1975 to 2002, working in the Statistical Methods Division from 1975 to 1987 and in the Statistical Support Division from 1987 to 1995. He was associate director for the 2000 decennial census and chief of the decennial management division.

 

Leaving government service for the private sector in 2002, Thompson joined the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, serving as executive vice president from 2002 to 2008, and as president and CEO since 2008.

 

A member of the American Statistical Association since 1975, Thompson was elected a fellow of the Association in 2000, and chaired the Social Statistics Section in 2011 and the Committee on Fellows in 2009. He is currently serving as a member of the Committee on National Statistics with the National Academy of Sciences

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Biography

Obama Nominates John H. Thompson to Head Census Bureau (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

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