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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 Karen Pittman as a member and vice chair 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.
Karen Pittman has made a career of starting organizations and initiatives that promote youth development — including the Forum for Youth Investment, which she co-founded in 1998. A sociologist and recognized leader in youth development, Pittman started her career at the Urban Institute, conducting numerous studies on social services for children and families. She later moved to the Children's Defense Fund, launching its adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives and helping to create its adolescent policy agenda. In 1990, she became a vice-president at the Academy for Educational Development, where she founded and directed the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research. In 1995, Pittman joined the Clinton administration as director of the President's Crime Prevention Council, where she worked with 13 cabinet secretaries to create a coordinated prevention agenda. From there she moved to the executive team of the International Youth Foundation, charged with helping the organization strengthen its program content and developing an evaluation strategy. In 1998, she worked with Colin Powell to create America's Promise. Pittman is a published author and is a regular columnist in the youth development newspaper, Youth Today. She is also a respected public speaker and has served on numerous boards and panels.