American Statistical Association Letter Urges President to Accelerate Appointment of Census Director

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The American Statistical Association and other concerned organizations have signed a letter to President Obama seeking an immediate appointment to the position of census director and urging that the Census Bureau maintain its political independence.

The American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation's preeminent professional statistical society, has initiated a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to appoint a Census Director as soon as possible and to ensure that the Census Bureau is shielded from partisan politics. The letter, which has been signed by representatives of a number of professional societies representing a variety of fields, stresses the need for strong and decisive leadership of the Census Bureau as the organization gears up for the 2010 census.

"In order to ensure that public confidence in the Census is maintained, it is critical that the Census Bureau preserve its tradition of political independence," said Sally Morton, ASA president, "and that a director be in place in the very near future so he or she can take an active role in all of the preparations for the 2010 census."

The letter further recommends that the director selected should have "strong management and scientific skills, an understanding of the Bureau's programs and surveys, and experience interacting with the Administration, Congress and the various Census stakeholders."

In addition to ASA, organizations signing the letter are:

  • American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA)
  • Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS)
  • Marketing Research Association (MRA)
  • Population Association of America (PAA)
  • Southern Demographic Association

About the American Statistical Association:
The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and educational society founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. For more than 160 years, ASA has been providing its 18,000 members serving in academia, government, and industry and the public with up-to-date, useful information about statistics. The ASA has a proud tradition of service to statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the association's web site at http://www.amstat.org or call 703.684.1221.

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