Census Director Robert Groves to Leave the Commerce Department This Fall

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Guest blog post by Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank

Census Bureau Director Robert Groves has been an exceptional and dedicated leader. Over the past several years, Dr. Groves has done outstanding work to transform and modernize the Census Bureau. So our announcement today is bittersweet: Dr. Groves is resigning as Director of the Census Bureau in August to become the provost of Georgetown University. This is a significant and highly deserved honor for him – and a major capstone to his notable academic career.

Dr. Groves has led the Census Bureau for almost three years. During that time, his remarkable leadership of the 2010 Census resulted in a historic, successful operation that was completed on time and $1.9 billion under budget. Dr. Groves helped shape a strategy for planning a more cost-efficient 2020 Census and launched an employee-led operational efficiency program that saved millions of additional taxpayer dollars. He also led a formal reorganization of the Census Bureau, reestablishing the research directorate to spur technical innovation. With the implementation of a corporate hiring and job rotation program, Dr. Groves has worked to expand the breadth of skills among Census staff to effectively lead the Bureau into the 21st century.

Further, in a time of tight budgets, Dr. Groves’ management has increased the efficiency of the Census Bureau.  His leadership is a prime example of this Administration’s commitment to do more with less and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Most importantly, his efforts have greatly improved the quality of data that Census collects, which is crucial for researchers, service providers, and policymakers around the country – something I can personally attest to as a frequent consumer of Census data. By bringing quantitative management techniques to the oversight of data collection, Dr. Groves has helped provide high-quality information about the nation’s people and economy.

I have had the privilege of working closely with Bob during his tenure here, and have been consistently impressed by his vision and creativity. His leadership is a significant loss for the Department, but his contributions will not be soon forgotten. We are all grateful for his service to the Commerce Department, to this Administration and to the American people, and we wish him the best of luck in his exciting new role.

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