COPAFS Names New Executive Director
COPAFS Names New Executive Director

August 2017

The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), which advocates for the development and dissemination of high-quality federal statistics, recently named former U.S. Census Bureau director John H. Thompson as executive director, effective July 24. He succeeded Katherine Smith Evans, who served as executive director since 2012. Thompson comes to COPAFS from the Census Bureau where he served as director from 2013 until June 30, 2017.

COPAFS, of which AERA is an active association member, represents over 300,000 individual researchers, educators, public health professionals, civic groups, and businesses that rely on the quality and accessibility of statistics that can only be effectively collected by the federal government.

Prior to becoming Census Bureau Director, Thompson spent five years as president and CEO of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. From 2002 to 2008 he served as executive vice president at NORC. Before joining NORC, Thompson had a distinguished career at the Census Bureau from 1975 to 2002, culminating in his position as the associate director with responsibility for all aspects of the 2000 Census.

A longtime leader in the social science research community, Thompson is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and past chair of the association’s Social Statistics Section and its Committee on Fellows. In 2000, he received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the success of the 2000 Census.

From 2011 through 2013, Thompson served as a member of the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) at the National Academy of Sciences. He participated in CNSTAT’s panel on the design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments, and its panel to Review the 2010 Census. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mathematics from Virginia Tech, and was recently inducted into the university’s College of Science Hall of Distinction.

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine is a member of the COPAFS Board of Directors and served as chair of the executive director search committee.