Burton H. Reist
Chief, 2020 Census Research and Planning Office
U.S. Census Bureau
Burton Reist has served as chief of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 Census Research and Planning Office since December 2011. He oversees the research and testing program for the decennial census of population and housing. This includes the technical evaluation of alternative census designs and the development and analysis of methods for improving coverage, data quality and cost effectiveness.
From September 2008 until December 2011, Reist served as the assistant director for communications. He managed external and media relations, Web and social media, and the Census Bureau's relationship with key stakeholders, including Congress. He also served as a primary liaison for the Census Bureau with the Department of Commerce and with other government agencies on public affairs, coordinated the agency's interaction with the state data centers, census information centers and oversaw the 2010 Census communications campaign.
Reist began his career at the Census Bureau in July 1998. He became chief of the Correspondence and Information Support staff in July 1999, then chief of the Program Information Branch of the Decennial Management Division in October 2001.
In April 2005, he became the Freedom of Information Act officer and served as supervisory policy analyst in the Office of Analysis and Executive Support, where he developed policies, managed staff and directed research. Reist joined the Communications Directorate in April 2007 as a branch chief in the Congressional Affairs Office and subsequently served as the office's deputy chief. Since late 2006, Reist has been the agency's lead liaison in dealing with key communications issues.
Before coming to the Census Bureau, Reist served as correspondence director/legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), where he was the staff expert on health care reform and environmental issues. He later served four years at the Peace Corps as executive staff secretary to the director.
Reist, who lives on Capitol Hill in Washington, has a bachelor's degree in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a master's degree in public administration from Cornell University.