President Barack Obama nominated Robert M. Groves
to be 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.
At the time of his nomination, Groves was a professor at the University of Michigan and director of its Survey Research Center, as well as research professor
at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.
He was the Census Bureau’s Associate Director for Statistical Design, Methodology and Standards from 1990 to 1992, on loan from the University of Michigan.
Groves has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of scientific 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 (AAPOR). His book Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys, written with Mick Couper when Groves was at the Census Bureau, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award. Survey Nonresponse, edited with Don Dillman, John Eltinge, and Rod Little, won the
2011 AAPOR Book Award.
Groves is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Statistical Association, and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research. He is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. In 2011, he was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
He is the recipient of the AAPOR Innovator Award and the Distinguished Achievement Award, the O’Neill Award of the New York Association for Public Opinion Research, the Helen Dinerman Award of the World Association for Public Opinion Research, and the Julius Shiskin Memorial Award of the National Association of Business Economics and the American Statistical Association, in recognition of contributions to the development of economic statistics.
Groves has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Dartmouth College and master’s degrees in statistics and sociology, as well as a doctorate degree in sociology, from the University of Michigan.
He and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons – Christopher, a recent graduate of Purdue University, and Andrew, currently a student at Northwestern University.