Leadership of the Federal Statistical Agencies

By Steve Pierson posted 12-23-2013 08:58


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   Vipin Arora December 2022-  Brian Moyer 2014-2019  Steve Landefeld 1995-2014
   BJS Kevin Scott (Acting, Aug 2023-  Alexis Piquero  August 2022-  Jeffrey Anderson 2017-2021  William Sabol 2015-2016 Jim Lynch 2010-2012 
   BLS Erika McEntarfer (Jan 2024-) William Beach 2019-2023  Erica Groshen 2013-2017  Keith Hall 2008-2012; Kathleen Utgoff 2002-2006
   BTS  Patricia Hu 2011-  Steve Dillingham (2007-10)  Ashish Sen 1998-2002 T.R. Lakshmaman 1994-1998
   Census    Robert Santos 2022-  Steve Dillingham 2019-2021  John Thompson 2013-2017  Robert Groves 2009-2012
   EIA  Joseph DeCarolis 2022-  Linda Capuano 2018- 2021 Adam Sieminski 2012-2017  Richard Newell 2009-2012
   ERS  Spiro Stefanou 2020-  Mary Bohman 2012-2018  Kitty Smith 2007-2011 Susan Offutt 1996-2006
   NASS  Hubert Hamer 2016-  Joseph Reilly 2014-2016   Cynthia Clark 2008-2014
   NCES  Peggy Carr 2021-  James Woodworth 2018-2021   Jack Buckley 2011-2013  
   NCHS  Brian Moyer 2019-  Charles Rothwell 2013-2018   Ed Sondik 1997-2013
   NCSES  Emilda Rivers 2018-  John Gawalt 2013-2018  Lynda Carlson 2000-2011 
   ORES  Natalie Lu (Acting)  Jason D. Brown 2018-2019 John Phillips 2016-2018   Manuel de la Puente 2008-2015
   SOI  Barry Johnson 2015-   Susan Boehmer 2010-2014  Thomas Petska 2002-2009
Table 1.1: The 2019 Evidence Act expanded ICSP by about a factor of two. We've started Amstat News Q&A's with the new statistics officials. 
         Agency    Current Statistics Official     
   HUD  Shawn Bucholtz    

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 from date of swearing in 
   BTS  Director, CSESA
   Census    Director, PASC, fixed 5-year term starting and ending in years ending in 2 and 7.
   EIA  Administrator, PASC
   ERS  Administrator, CSESA
   NASS  Administrator, CSESA
   NCES  Commissioner, Presidential appointee*, fixed 6-year term next ending in June of 2021, 2027, etc. 
   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