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The U.S. Census Bureau announced today the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations and has named Neil Donovan as a member of the committee.
The National Advisory Committee will advise the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau's programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 32 members from multiple disciplines, will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.
“We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”
The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations.
Neil Donovan is the president and executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless. He has been working with and for people experiencing homelessness for the past three decades in positions from street outreach worker to chief executive. He was recently voted a prominent national leader in social change by Change.org. Donovan's work with America's unhoused and his fight against radical expressions of persistent poverty began in Boston as a religious novice with the Xaverian Brothers, working first at Common Life, then at Pine Street Inn and the Shattuck Shelter. In the mid-1990s, he founded IMPACT Employment Services, long considered a nationally recognized best practice in employment service for homeless and at-risk job seekers. Later that decade, he was appointed by Gov. Paul Cellucci to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board. In 2000, he moved to Washington, D.C., for a political position as senior adviser to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, an independent agency of the White House, Domestic Policy Council. After serving in the first term of the Bush administration, he started the Center for Capacity Building at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Donovan has enjoyed working with communities as a consultant and volunteer on various boards at the local, state and national levels.