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Leadership of the Federal Statistical Agencies

By Steve Pierson posted 12-17-2013 20:35


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:

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 2014-  Steve Landefeld 1995-2014  
   BJS  Jeri Mulrow (Acting)   William Sabol 2015-2016  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  Adam Sieminski 2012-  Richard Newell 2009-2012   
   ERS  Mary Bohman 2012-  Kitty Smith 2007-2011  
   NASS  Hubert Hamer 2016-  Joseph Reilly 2014-2016   Cynthia Clark 2008-2014
   NCES  Peggy Carr (acting)  Jack Buckley 2009-2013  
   NCHS  Charles Rothwell 2013-   Ed Sondik 1997-2013  
   NCSES  John Gawalt 2013-  Lynda Carlson 2000-2011   
   ORES  John Phillips 2016-  Manuel de la Puente 2008-2015
   SOI  Barry Johnson 2015-   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. 

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