The associate director for Decennial Census Programs serves as adviser to the director and deputy director on decennial programs. The incumbent provides counsel as to the scope, quality, management and methodology of the decennial programs; provides executive and professional leadership to the divisions and central offices of the Decennial Census Programs Directorate; and participates with other executives in the formulation and implementation of broad policies, which govern the diverse programs of the Census Bureau.
Fontenot is responsible for providing executive leadership and direction for the 2020 Census, the American Community Survey, and the Census Bureau’s geographic programs. Fontenot was named to the position in October 2017.
Previously, Fontenot served as the assistant director for Field Operations, where he oversaw the Field Division, the six regional offices, the National Processing Center, and the Office of Survey and Census Analytics.
Arriving at headquarters in March 2016, Fontenot delivered outstanding leadership to the Field Division and worked closely with the Decennial Census Programs Directorate to help drive a coordinated approach to 2020 Census preparation. During that time, he represented the Field Division on the 2020 Census Concept of Operations Team and was instrumental in helping craft the 2020 Census Operational Plan and in preparing, executing and evaluating the early census tests.
Named director of the Chicago Regional Office in 2014, Fontenot brought motivation, leadership and disciplined process, which led the region to strong performances on major surveys, reversing downward trends, while concurrently maintaining effective cost controls.
Fontenot joined the Census Bureau in 2009 as a temporary census employee in the Los Angeles region and served in numerous roles during the 2010 Census, starting as a field operations supervisor and culminating as the area manager of Los Angeles County and the state of Hawaii. Following the 2010 Census, he worked as a survey supervisor, program coordinator and assistant regional director.
Fontenot had extensive executive leadership experience in the private sector, including 12 years as president and chief executive officer of midsized corporations where he led successful major product and organizational initiatives, organizational development, business redesign, and reorganizational activities. Fontenot is a decorated military veteran, having served as an Army officer with combat service in Vietnam.
Fontenot received a bachelor’s degree in management and a Master of Business Administration in corporate finance and marketing from DePaul University in Chicago. He holds a doctor of ministry degree in pastoral ministry.