NEWS19 December 2018

Groups back Dillingham for census leadership

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US – Twenty-nine organisations have endorsed Dr Steven Dillingham to be confirmed as director of the Census Bureau, ahead of the 2020 census.

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The bureau’s previous director, John Thompson, resigned in May 2017. Dillingham was nominated for the position in July this year but has not been confirmed by the senate.

In a letter addressed to senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer, organisations including the Insights Association, the American Association for Public Opinion Research and Nielsen voiced their endorsement of Dillingham and urged his confirmation to avoid a delay to census proceedings.

"Time is running out on the lame duck session and, more importantly, on preparations for the 2020 census," the letter read. "The Bureau needs a leader in place, trusted by the White House and accountable to congress, at this crucial juncture in the ramp up to America’s largest peacetime mobilisation."

Dillingham was most recently director of the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning for the US Peace Corps, and has previously led the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The letter added: "Dillingham will have to quickly learn from the results of the 2018 End-to-End Readiness Test and oversee final design decisions and preparations for the 2020 census. He also must strengthen and streamline the American Community Survey (ACS), formerly known as the ‘Long Form', which updates census data throughout the decade. Delay is not an option."