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U.S. Census Bureau Director Tapped for Georgetown Provost

April 10, 2012 – Robert M. Groves, who successfully led the 2010 Census to count more than 308 million Americans, will become Georgetown’s new provost on August 20, 2012.

Groves, who was appointed director of the U.S. Census Bureau by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009, previously served as a professor at the University of Michigan and director of its Survey Research Center. 

"The depth and breadth of Bob's experience and scholarship will make an extraordinary impact within our community," President John J. DeGioia says. "We are excited to welcome his innovative leadership as we continue to strengthen our academic programs and fulfill our educational mission in Washington, D.C. and beyond." 

"I am confident that Bob will contribute centrally to our mission of educating women and men for others, who are prepared to engage the challenges facing our communities, the nation and the world," DeGioia adds. 

Fulfilling Aspirations

As provost, Groves will serve as the chief academic officer for Georgetown's main campus.

During the height of the 2010 Census, he oversaw a workforce of more than 700,000 and a multibillion dollar budget. He reorganized the Census Bureau, establishing a new research directorate and a national network of research nodes on university campuses.

At Michigan he was one of the founders of interdisciplinary graduate programs and an active professor, integrating students into a large research program in survey methodology.

“I am honored by the opportunity to be the next provost of Georgetown University,” Groves says. “I look forward to working with Georgetown’s world-class faculty and students to build the Georgetown of the future, one that fulfills all their aspirations.”

Prominent Social Scientist

The author or co-author of seven books and scores of scientific articles, Groves also served as a research professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.

His 1989 book, Survey Errors and Survey Costs, was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. Two of his other books have won national awards.

Groves is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Statistical Institute. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research.

Getting to Work

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Groves obtained his master’s degrees in statistics and sociology and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Groves and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons – Christopher, a graduate of Purdue University, and Andrew, a student at Northwestern University.

“I look forward to meeting my new colleagues, seeking their wisdom and getting to work,” Groves says.