The U.S. Senate confirmed veteran survey statistician Robert Santos, President Joe Biden's choice for director of the Census Bureau, on November 4, 2021.
The Insights Association, the leading trade association for the market research and data analytics industry, endorsed and supported Santos.
Following a 61-36 cloture vote, the Senate voted on a bipartisan basis, 58 to 35, to approve his nomination.
“The insights industry looks forward to working with Robert Santos and the Census Bureau at this important time of transition,” said Howard Fienberg, Senior VP Advocacy for the Insights Association.
Previously, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on his nomination July 15 and approved him 10-3 on August 4.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), committee chairman, then asked for unanimous consent on the Senate floor on October 7 to approve Santos, but Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) objected.
Scott stated that “the Census Bureau performs critically important functions to collect accurate and timely data. Unfortunately, I am concerned that this nominee will politicize the Census Bureau and will not perform his duties in a fair and unbiased fashion, which this position demands.”
That move necessitated the final votes today.
By contrast to Scott, Senate Majority Leader Schumer today called Director Santos “exactly the kind of person our country needs overseeing our Census: impartial, highly experienced, and someone from outside politics.”
Santos was most recently vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute. He has also held executive-level positions at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center and NORC. Santos is current president of the American Statistical Association, and a past president of AAPOR and the Washington Statistical Society.
IA’s Fienberg concluded that, “while the Bureau is still working on 2020 Census data products, we’re already advocating to bolster the ongoing American Community Survey (ACS) and prepare for the 2030 Census. The resulting data underpins every statistically-representative study in America.”
Robert Santos will take over as Census Bureau Director on January 1, 2022.