COPSS-NISS Leadership Webinar Series: Leadership in Government

Friday, April 28, 2023 | 12 - 1 pm ET / 9 - 10 am PT

[Please Note:  This event has already taken place.  Please review the News Story for this event to read about what happened.] 

Join us for another insightful webinar on the topic of leadership in the field of statistics and data science.  The focus of this webinar is on statistics leadership in government.  Hear from two of the leading statisticians strategizing about the future of statistics in government.

The speakers for this session are Denice Ross who is currently the U.S. Chief Data Scientist, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Robert L. Santos the Director of the United States Bureau of the Census. Our two distinguished panelists will share their leadership journeys and insights in a discussion moderated by Dr. Clare Bowen of the Urban Institute.


Denice Ross, U.S. Chief Data Scientist, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Robert L. Santos, Director, U.S. Census Bureau


Claire Bowen, The Urban Institute


About the COPSS-NISS Leadership Webinar Series

The COPSS-NISS Leadership Webinar Series is co-organized by the Committee of the Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Emerging Leaders in Statistics and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS). The purpose of the webinar series is to promote leadership skills for members of the statistical societies at any stage in their careers. The series features conversations with leaders throughout the discipline, including leaders from major academic and government institutions, and companies. Invited speakers share their leadership stories and answer questions about their experiences. Each webinar is moderated by a member of the COPSS Emerging Leaders in Statistics program.

Organizing Committee

Natalie Dean (Chair), Emory University, COPSS Leadership Academy
Claire Bowen, Urban Institute, COPSS Leadership Academy
Amita Manatunga, Emory University, COPSS
Jim Rosenberger, NISS 
David S. Matteson, NISS, Cornell University 
Mary Ryan, Yale University
Lingzhou Xue, Penn State, COPSS Leadership Academy, NISS 


About the Speakers

Denice Ross serves as the U.S. Chief Data Scientist in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Previously, she was a Senior Fellow at the National Conference on Citizenship, where she led a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to coordinate support for a high quality census despite a pandemic and unprecedented political pressure. She also co-authored the data series "Pandemic to Prosperity," with a special focus on Southern states and their path to an equitable recovery. She was a Fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, providing startup support for the new State Chief Data Officer Network. At New America, she studied climate security and the power of networks to advance progress on big challenges.  As a Presidential Innovation Fellow in the Obama administration, she co-founded the White House Police Data Initiative to increase transparency and accountability and worked with the Department of Energy on crowdsourcing private-sector data to improve community resilience in disaster-impacted areas. Earlier, she served as Director of Enterprise Information for the City of New Orleans, where she established their open data initiative, now recognized as one of the most successful in the country.

Robert L. Santos is the 26th director of the U.S. Census Bureau. He was sworn in on January 5, 2022. Santos’ career spans more than 40 years in survey research, statistical design and analysis, and executive-level management. He previously served for 15 years as vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute and directed its Statistical Methods Group. He was executive vice president and partner of NuStats, a social science research firm in Austin, Texas.  Santos has held leadership positions in the nation’s top survey research organizations, including the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, where he served as vice president of statistics and methodology and director of survey operations; the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, as director of survey operations; and Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research, as senior study director and sampling statistician.  Santos specializes in quantitative and qualitative research design, including program evaluation, needs assessments, survey methodology and survey operations. He also has expertise in demographic and administrative data, decennial censuses, social policy research and equity issues in research.  Santos served as the 2021 president of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and is an ASA Fellow and recipient of the ASA Founder’s Award in 2006. He was the 2014 president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and received the 2021 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. Santos is also an elected member to the International Statistical Institute, and he served from 2017 to 2020 as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was a longtime member of the editorial board of Public Opinion Quarterly.  Santos was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from high school at Holy Cross of San Antonio. He earned a B.A. in mathematics from Trinity University in San Antonio and an M.A. in statistics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

About the Moderator

Claire McKay Bowen is a principal research associate in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population and leads the Statistical Methods Group at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on developing and assessing the quality of differentially private data synthesis methods and science communication. In 2021, the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies identified her as an emerging leader in statistics for her technical contributions and leadership to statistics and the field of data privacy and confidentiality. She is also a member of the Census Scientific Advisory Committee and the Differential Privacy Working Group, an advisory board member of the Future of Privacy Forums, and an adjunct professor at Stonehill College. 

Event Type


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


National Institute of Statistical Sciences


Registration is free.


Online Webinar
Panelists: Denice Ross, (U.S. Chief Data Scientist) and Robert L. Santos, (Director, U.S. Census Bureau),  Moderator: Claire Bowen (Urban Institute)