PAA Responds to Possible Changes in Census Bureau Leadership

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December 3, 2017

The Honorable Wilbur Ross
Secretary, Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230

Dear Secretary Ross,

On behalf of the over 3,000 scientists who are members of the Population Association of America and over 40 federally -funded population research centers comprising the Association of Population Centers, we are writing to reiterate our organizations’ support for strong leadership at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Recent press stories suggest the Administration may be converting the Deputy Director at the U.S. Census Bureau to a political position and selecting an outside candidate to serve. The Deputy Director is a critically important administrative position traditionally held by individuals with strong managerial experience and statistical expertise. It is essential that the next deputy director not only possess these qualities, but also be widely accepted as an objective, non-partisan candidate to help lead the nation’s largest statistical agency. This brand of leadership is essential to ensuring the agency can fulfill its mission and inspire public confidence in its data, surveys, and, particularly, in the 2020 Census and the subsequent use of its data over the coming decade.

We join other scientific organizations in calling on the Administration to promptly submit to the United States Senate a qualified nominee to serve as the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau and to reserve the agency’s Deputy Director position for a qualified candidate who can help lead the agency during these critical years leading up to the 2020 Census.

Thank you for considering our views regarding this matter and for your leadership and support of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Amy O. Tsui, PAA President  & Dr. Steve Ruggles, APC President