Director's Notes - NISS Parameters Newsletter, November, 2021

Welcome to the Fall 2021 Edition of the NISS Parameters NewsletterJames Rosenberger - Director of NISS

Greetings from the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS).

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create disruptions in our society, NISS looks forward to remaining adaptable and creating new activities. Hopefully, more of these will be in-person, although we have learned the advantages of holding virtual events and meetings. 

The NISS board of trustees meets the first Friday of November (this year again via Zoom) and reviewed the many NISS activities which are described in the Annual Report (  The 2020-21 report describes the many outreach activities that NISS hosts and provides insight into the research activities that NISS provides for the government agencies, primarily in agriculture and education through NASS and NCES. The year-end financial report and audit showed a positive balance with margin, and the board approved the budget for the current year.  The board also received a report from the search committee for a new director and CEO, including plans for second interviews for the short list of candidates.  I’m looking forward to handing the reins to new leadership.

The NISS affiliates committee provides a creative source of ideas for the cross-sector activities that NISS hosts for the benefit of our affiliate members and the broader statistical and data science committee.  Highlights during the past few months include the recent NISS/Merck Meetup on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the pharmaceutical industry.  Leaders from three companies described their initiatives and successes, demonstrating the benefits that are derived from a commitment to incorporate diversity throughout the organization.  Ever popular with our affiliate members, we hosted three virtual career fairs this fall, focusing on different sectors, academic faculty jobs, positions in the consumer products industry P&G and big pharmaceutical companies Lilly and Merck, and most recently the hi-tech industry with speakers from Google, Netflix and Facebook (now Meta), companies that a growing number of statisticians and data scientists are attracted to.  Upcoming in December is a career fair focused on government positions.  These events provide insider perspectives and advice on how to succeed in these work environments and strategies for getting an offer.  

NISS hosted the virtual ITSEW 2021, which was originally planned for 2020 in Manchester England, but was cancelled due to the pandemic. The international total survey error workshops (ITSEW) have been co-sponsored by NISS since 2005 ( and demonstrate an important area that NISS supports.  

Another source of NISS activities have come from the Ingram Olkin Forum committee.  Recent events have been virtual, but the inaugural Gun Violence workshop is the model of what we hope are future events.  See the summary below in the Newsletter and look for a call for proposals soon for additional workshops.  The recent series of workshops on Unplanned Clinical Trial Disruptions have spawned several working groups preparing articles to describe areas needing additional methodological research.

We invite our affiliates to nominate additional early career faculty liaisons to NISS, especially females, to become active in planning and moderating NISS events.  We are also pleased to see the growing Graduate Student Network (GSN) activities and anticipate naming graduate student liaisons from each of our academic affiliates to participate and begin to build their network of colleagues which are important for enriching their careers.  We also thank P&G for sponsoring the second Graduate Student Research Conference upcoming in the Spring.

Enjoy the articles in this Newsletter which elaborate on our recent activities and announce upcoming events.  If you have ideas for new activities and would like to become an affiliate, please be in touch with me. 

Jim Rosenberger
Director, NISS