President Barack Obama nominated Robert M. Groves for director of the U.S. Census Bureau on April 2, 2009, and the Senate confirmed him on July 13, 2009. He began his tenure as director on July 15, 2009.
Groves had been director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.
He was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1982, elected a member of the International Statistical Institute in 1994, and named a national associate of the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences in 2004. He was the Census Bureau’s associate director for Statistical Design, Methodology and Standards from 1990 to 1992.
In 2008, he became a recipient of the prestigious Julius Shiskin Memorial Award in recognition for contributions in the development of economic statistics. Groves has authored or co-authored seven books and more than 50 articles. His 1989 book, “Survey Errors and Survey Costs,” was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. His book, “Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys,” with Mick Couper, written during his time at the bureau, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award.
Groves has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and master’s degrees in statistics and sociology from the University of Michigan. He also earned his doctorate at Michigan.
He and his wife, Cynthia, have two college-age sons — Christopher at Purdue and Andrew at Northwestern.