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The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that Cathy Illian (formerly Cathy Lacy) has been named director of its Denver Regional Office.
Illian leaves her position as chief of the Field Division’s Decennial Administrative Branch at Census Bureau headquarters in Suitland, Md. She takes over an office of 60 employees and a field staff of about 500 who cover a 10-state area.
The Denver region — Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — encompasses more than 1 million square miles, which is approximately 25 percent of the contiguous land area of the United States.
“The Census Bureau faces numerous challenges in not only counting residents in this region, but also in completing the many surveys we conduct,” Illian said. “We have mountains and deserts, but we also have huge cities such as Phoenix and Denver. I look forward to the challenges this region presents.”
Illians’s Census Bureau career began as a supervisory survey statistician on the Current Population Survey in January 1988 in Tampa, Fla. She transferred to Atlanta to work on the Survey of Income and Program Participation and then became an area manager for the 1990 Census.
Illian supervised surveys at the Hagerstown (Md.) Telephone Center in the early 1990s. In October 1995, she became a program coordinator in the Kansas City Regional Office and in 1998 was promoted to assistant regional census manager.
After Census 2000, she worked at the Charlotte (N.C.) Region Office as a program coordinator before working on 2010 Census preparations at Census Bureau headquarters.
Illian earned a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Auburn University in 1986 and a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University in 2006. She was a recipient of the Census Bureau’s Bronze Medal Award in 1995. Illian also received an honorable mention for the Director’s Award for Innovation for the planning and design of the automated payroll component of hand-held computers for the 2006 Census Test.
Besides the once-a-decade census, the Census Bureau conducts monthly household surveys through its 12 regional offices. These result in hundreds of reports a year on the nation’s changing population and economy. Census data help governmental officials, community leaders and businesses plan for the future of their communities. All census data are strictly confidential and personal information is protected by law.