|23rd Director of the United States Census Bureau|
July 15, 2009 – August 11, 2012
|Preceded by||Thomas Mesenbourg (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Mesenbourg (Acting)|
September 27, 1948 |
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Robert Martin Groves (born September 27, 1948) is an American sociologist and expert in survey methodology who has served as the Provost of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. since August 2012. He also served as the Director of the United States Census Bureau from 2009 to 2012.
Groves was born in Kansas City, Missouri, grew up in Metairie, Louisiana, and graduated in 1966 from De La Salle High School in New Orleans. In 1970, he graduated (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth College with an A.B. degree in sociology. He later earned two M.A. degrees (sociology and statistics, both 1973) and a PhD (sociology, 1975) from the University of Michigan.
For much of his career, starting in 1975, Groves worked as a research professor in survey methodology at the University of Michigan. He was also a researcher in the Joint Program of Survey Methodology, housed at the University of Maryland, College Park. In August 2012, he became the Provost of Georgetown University, succeeding James J. O'Donnell.
When Groves was an associate director at the United States Census Bureau in the early 1990s, he argued that potentially millions of minorities who typically voted Democratic were being undercounted. Groves advocated for the use of statistical adjustments to account for this discrepancy. George H. W. Bush's Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher blocked this suggestion. The Census Bureau is a component of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
On April 2, 2009, Groves was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Census Bureau. During his confirmation hearings, Republican senators raised concerns based on Groves' previous actions that he would apply statistical adjustments to populations believed to be undercounted, thereby inflating their numbers and affecting the apportionment of congressional seats. Groves ruled out the use of statistical adjustments during the hearings and his nomination quickly proceeded to the full Senate in May. However, senators Richard Shelby and David Vitter continued to delay his confirmation due to lingering worries regarding statistical adjustments. They also sought assurance from the Obama administration that the controversial community group ACORN would not be involved in grassroots outreach related to the 2010 Census. On July 13, 2009, after several weeks of opposition by the two senators, Senate majority leader Harry Reid used a procedural motion to force a vote that confirmed Groves, 76-15. He took office July 15, 2009.
Groves is the author of several books, including:
- Surveying Victims (2008) ISBN 0-309-11598-1
- Survey Errors and Survey Costs (2004) ISBN 0-471-67851-1
- Survey Methodology (2010) Second edition of the (2004) first edition ISBN 0-471-48348-6
- Survey Nonresponse (2001) ISBN 0-471-39627-3
- Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys (1998) ISBN 0-471-18245-1
Groves is the editor of several books, including:
- Measurement Errors in Surveys (2004) ISBN 0-471-69280-8
- Telephone Survey Methodology (2001) ISBN 0-471-20956-2
- Morello, Carol (2010-03-31). "Groves brings scholarly depth to bear in leading census, winning over critics". Washington Post. p. A15. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Michelle Krupa (August 19, 2009). "Census boss plans special efforts". Nola.com. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Rucker, Philip (2009-04-02). "Transportation and Education Depts. Get Key Nominees". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- Stout, David (2009-04-02). "Former Census Official Reportedly in Line to Head Agency". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- "Curriculum Vitae Robert M. Groves" (PDF). September 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- O'Keefe, Ed (2009-04-03). "With 2010 Census Looming, Obama Chooses Survey Expert to Run Bureau". The Washington Post. p. A17. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- Yen, Hope (2009-07-13). "Senate confirms Obama's pick to lead 2010 census". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
- "Robert M. Groves, Director" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. July 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-01.[dead link]
- "History: Robert M. Groves". United States Census Bureau. July 20, 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.[dead link]
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|Director of the Census Bureau