Robert Groves

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Robert Groves
Robert Groves, official Census photo portrait.jpg
23rd Director of the United States Census Bureau
In office
July 15, 2009 – August 11, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Thomas Mesenbourg (Acting)
Succeeded by Thomas Mesenbourg (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1948-09-27) September 27, 1948 (age 66)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Alma mater Dartmouth College
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Robert Martin Groves (born September 27, 1948)[1] 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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1][2] In 1970, he graduated (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Dartmouth College with an A.B. degree[3] in sociology.[4] He later earned two M.A. degrees (sociology and statistics, both 1973) and a PhD (sociology, 1975) from the University of Michigan.[4][5]

Academic career[edit]

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 in 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.[6]

Groves was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[6]

Government career[edit]

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.[4]

On April 2, 2009, Groves was nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Census Bureau.[7] 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.[8] He took office July 15, 2009.[9][10]

On June 13, 2014, President Obama announced his appointment of Groves to the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation.[11]

Publishing history[edit]

Groves is the author of several books, including:

Groves is the editor of several books, including:

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Mesenbourg
Acting
Director of the Census Bureau
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Thomas Mesenbourg
Acting