NEWS6 January 2022

US Census Bureau chief sworn in

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US – Robert Santos has been sworn in as the 26th director of the US Census Bureau, becoming the first Latino person to hold the position.

Swearing in of US bureau chief Robert Santos

Santos’ appointment followed a confirmation hearing in the US senate on 4th November 2021. His term of office is due to last five years.

He will replace Steven Dillingham, who was appointed by Donald Trump and who resigned on 20th January 2021, when the presidential transition occurred.

Before taking up the role at the US Census Bureau, Santos was vice-president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute. He is the current president of the American Statistical Association.

Santos has also held executive-level positions at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and NORC at the University of Chicago, as well as being a past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and the Washington Statistical Society.

The appointment follows the 2020 US census, carried out in the middle of Covid-19, and a long-running campaign to boost funding for the Census Bureau to help modernise the organisation and improve the quality of its data.

Santos had previously told the US congress that the bureau needed more transparency and independence to build public trust.

Gina Raimondo, US secretary of commerce, said: “Mr Santos is a tremendous leader and I have full confidence that he will lead the Census Bureau with integrity in the years ahead.

“The Census Bureau is an invaluable asset to our government and the American people, providing essential data for businesses, government leaders and policymakers to make informed decisions. I look forward to working with Mr Santos and congratulate him on his appointment.”