COPAFS Names Cynthia Z. F. Clark as New Executive Director
COPAFS Names Cynthia Z. F. Clark as New Executive Director

November 2018

The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), which advocates for the development and dissemination of high-quality federal statistics, has named Cynthia Z. F. Clark as executive director, effective December 3. She succeeds John H. Thompson, who retired as executive director in August 2018. Clark comes to COPAFS from her position as administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

COPAFS, of which AERA is an active association member, represents 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.

At NASS, Clark led a program that fundamentally transformed how and where the agency does its business. Prior to NASS, she served for three years as executive director for methodology and quality at the U.K. Office for National Statistics, and for eight years as associate director for research, methodology, and standards at the U.S. Census Bureau. In both organizations she directed research across the full range of economic and demographic surveys, censuses, and estimating programs, improved program methodology, and instituted standards for quality management for these programs.

A longtime leader in the statistics community, Clark is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, and past chair of its Government Statistics Section and Privacy and Confidentiality Committee. She is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, an elected member of the International Statistical Association, and currently serves on the Statistics Canada Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods.

In 2011, Clark was a recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award. At the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Clark served on the Committee on National Statistics Panel on Reengineering the Census Bureau’s Annual Economic Surveys and Panel to Review USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey. Clark holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mills College, a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Denver, and master’s and doctoral degrees in statistics from Iowa State University, from which she received its Distinguished Alumnae Award in 2014.

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