NEWS8 January 2019

Dillingham confirmed as US census director

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US – Dr Steven Dillingham has been confirmed as director of the Census Bureau, ahead of the 2020 US census.

US 2010 census_crop

Dillingham was confirmed by the Senate by a voice vote on Wednesday 2nd January. His term will expire on 31st December 2021.

The position has been vacant for 18 months following the departure of the previous director, John Thompson, in May 2017.

Dillingham was most recently director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning for the US Peace Corps.

The appointment was welcomed by market research industry organisation the Insights Association. Howard Fienberg, vice-president of advocacy, said: "The Insights Association looks forward to working with Dr. Dillingham to ensure an accurate and inclusive 2020 Census and protect the integrity of the American Community Survey (ACS).

"Unfortunately, Director Dillingham arrives to a partially shut-down Census Bureau. Congress and the president have yet to agree upon Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations for multiple agencies, including the Census Bureau (which is funded as part of the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill)."

As well as facing difficulties over funding, the decennial census has attracted controversy over the introduction of a citizenship question. This week, a trial began in San Francisco over the administration’s inclusion of the question, following a similar trial in New York.