Leadership of the Federal Statistical Agencies

Leadership of the Federal Statistical Agencies

This blog entry will help track the leaders of the 13 ICSP statistical agency heads by listing in Table 1 the current head, the previous head, and links to Amstat News Q&A's. I will also track updates as I learn of them.  Table 2 lists the nature of the head position.

Latest Updates:

  • 5/27/14: Susan Boehmer leaving her position as SOI Director for another IRS position; CNSTAT News, May, 2014. Barry Johnson will be Acting Director.
  • 5/6/14: NASS Administrator Cynthia Clark and BEA Director Steve Landefeld retired as of May 2. Joseph T. Reilly started as NASS Administrator on May 5. Brian Moyer is acting BEA Director. Landefeld's successor is currently being sought. See also ASA homepage note thanking Clark and Landefeld.

Table 1
: Current and Previous Statistical Agency Heads, with hyperlinks to Amstat News Q&A's. See agency abbreviations below. 

         Agency    Current Head     Previous Head 
   BEA    Brian Moyer (acting)  Steve Landefeld 1995-2014
   BJS  William Sabol (acting)  Jim Lynch 2010-2012  
   BLS  Erika Groshen 2013-  Keith Hall 2008-2012
   BTS  Patricia Hu 2011-   Steven Dillingham 
   Census    John Thompson 2013-  Robert Groves 2009-2012
   EIA  Ed Sieminski 2012-  Richard Newell 2009-2012 
   ERS  Mary Bohman 2012-  Kitty Smith 1996-2011
   NASS  Joseph Reilly 2014-  Cynthia Clark 2008-2014
   NCES  John Easton (acting)  Jack Buckley 2009-2012
   NCHS  Charles Rothwell 2013-   Ed Sondik 1997-2013
   NCSES  John Gawalt 2013-  Lynda Carlson 2000-2011 
   ORES  Manuel de la Puente  
   SOI  Barry Johnson (acting)   Susan Boehmer 2010-2014


For the following table on the nature of the agency head position, PASC stands for Presidential Appointee, Senate Confirmed and CSESA is Career senior executive service appointee. 

Table 2: Nature of leadership positions of federal statistical agencies. Source: Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, National Academies.

       Agency    Nature of Head Position 
   BEA    Director, CSESA
   BJS  Director, Presidential appointee*
   BLS  Commissioner, PASC, fixed 4-year term 
   BTS  Director, CSESA
   Census    Director, PASC, fixed 5-year term
   EIA  Administrator, PASC
   ERS  Administrator, CSESA
   NASS  Administrator, CSESA
   NCES  Commissioner, Presidential appointee*, fixed 6-year term 
   NCHS  Director, CSESA
   NCSES  Director, CSESA
   ORES  Associate Commissioner, CSESA
   SOI  Director, CSESA

*Congress removed Senate confirmation in 2012. See this 8/1/12 ASA Community blog entry, House Approves Senate Bill Making Census Directorship Fixed Term, Removes Senate Confirmation for BJS & NCES Heads, and links therein.
Prior to 2004, BTS Director was a presidential appointee

For more on the organization and structure of the Federal Statistical System, see Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, For example, Appendix 2 has two figures on the organization of the principal federal statistical agencies and programs and their organizational location within their department.

See also this ASA webpage, Support of Federal Statistical System. EPA Chief Statistician Barry Nussbaum also did this February 2012 Q&A for Amstat News.

See other ASA Science Policy blog entries. For ASA science policy updates, follow @ASA_SciPol on Twitter. 

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Statistical Agency abbreviations (ICSP is the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy)

BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis
BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
BTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics
ERS Economic Research Service
EIA Energy Information Administration
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCES National Center for Education Statistics
NCHS National Center for Health Statistics
NCSES National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
ORES Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
SOI Statistics of Income Division, IRS
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