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WASHINGTON - The United States Senate today confirmed Dr. Robert Groves as the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau, on a strong bipartisan voice vote. Groves, a highly respected expert in the field of survey methodology, takes the helm of the agency at a critical time as it makes final preparations for the 2010 Census.
"The 2010 Census faces significant challenges and Dr. Groves will help us meet those challenges," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. "He is a respected social scientist, highly regarded by the professional statisticians, geographers, mathematicians and demographers who work at the Census Bureau. He will run the agency with the integrity and independence demanded by the Constitution and expected by the American people."
As Census Director, Dr. Groves will report to Secretary Locke.
"I am honored to accept this position," Dr. Groves said. "Extensive planning has put the 2010 Census on track to be the most accurate and technologically advanced in our nation's history. But counting a dynamic population, like the U.S., needs the help of every resident. I'll work to ensure our systems operate according to plan, and to make sure the public understands the vital importance of filling out and mailing back the census questionnaires in a timely fashion. Every survey conducted by the Census Bureau needs constant innovation to provide the taxpayer with the most efficiently produced, high quality statistics this country needs."
Dr. Groves had been director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. From 1990 to 1992, he was an associate director of the U.S. Census Bureau, on loan from the University of Michigan.
Groves received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and his master's and doctorate from the University of Michigan. He is the author of seven books and scores of scientific articles concerning the improvement of surveys. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, a National Associate of the National Academies, National Research Council, former President of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), former Chair of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association. Groves was awarded AAPOR Innovator Award in 2000, and in 2001 he was awarded the AAPOR distinguished achievement award by the association.
He and his wife, Cynthia, have two college-age sons, Christopher at Purdue University and Andrew at Northwestern University.