Census Bureau Finally Has a New Director

The U.S. Census Bureau had been without an approved director since May 2017. The Senate unanimously approved Steven Dillingham to the position with about a year to spare before the 2020 Census begins.
January 8, 2019, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Maria Dryfhout

"The Senate has voted to fill the top post at the U.S. Census Bureau with President Trump's nominee Steven Dillingham," reports Hansi Lo Wang.

The approval, by way of a unanimous vote, comes months after Dillingham was first nominated, and "critical time in preparation for the 2020 census," with about a year until the national head count is schedule to commence.

"The bureau is expected to join the Government Publishing Office in announcing a new printing contractor for paper questionnaires, letters and other 2020 census materials after GPO officials bungled the awarding of the initial contract," reports Wang. "Census Bureau officials are also girding for cybersecurity risks that come with allowing all households to submit their personal information online for the first time in the history of the U.S. census."

Dillingham previously led the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Whether Dillingham is able to right the ship at the agency, which has been in turmoil for much of the Trump administration's time in office (peaking with the resignation of former Census Director John H. Thompson in May 2017), remains to be seen.

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Published on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 in NPR
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