Cornell University professor John M. Abowd will join the U.S. Census Bureau through an interagency personnel agreement as the new associate director for research and methodology and chief scientist, Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson announced today. The appointment will be effective June 1, 2016.
“I’m thrilled to have Dr. Abowd coming on board to help lead critical work to modernize the Census Bureau’s operations and products,” Thompson said. “John is an internationally renowned scholar and a great addition to lead our research and methodology efforts. His research on privacy and statistical disclosure limitation are particularly relevant as we work to improve the utility of our data products to our users and honor our commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the data the American people and businesses provide us.”
Abowd joined the faculty of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1987. He is currently the Edmund Ezra Day Professor of economics, statistics and information science. He began his long association with the Census Bureau in 1998 when he joined the team of distinguished senior research fellows that helped found the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program. He has served continuously since 1998 as a scientific adviser to that program and others at the bureau. Since 2011, he has been the principal investigator for the Cornell University node of the National Science Foundation-Census Research Network and co-principal investigator of its coordinating office.
Abowd is a fellow and past president of the Society of Labor Economists. He is also a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Econometric Society, as well as an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He currently serves on the National Research Council’s Committee on National Statistics and the American Economic Association’s Committee on Economic Statistics.
“This is a period of enormous methodological challenges for the Census Bureau and all national statistical agencies that will require innovative redesign and reengineering of the bureau’s flagship activities,” Abowd said. “I am excited to join Director John Thompson, Deputy Director Nancy Potok and the associate directors in marshaling the bureau’s talented scientific professionals to meet these challenges.”
The associate director for research and methodology leads a directorate of research centers, each devoted to domains of investigation important to the future of social and economic statistics. In that regard, the position leads key capacities for innovation across all statistical programs of the Census Bureau. The Research and Methodology Directorate includes the Center for Adaptive Design, Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications, Center for Disclosure Avoidance Research, Center for Economic Studies, Center for Statistical Research and Methodology, Center for Survey Measurement and the new Center for Big Data Research and Applications.