At a Glance
- Career History:
Professor at the University of Michigan (1992 to present);
Associate Director at the Census Bureau (1990 to 1992); Professor
at the U of M (1975 to 1990)
Kansas City, Mo.
- Alma Mater:
Dartmouth College, B.A. (sociology), 1970; University of Michigan,
M.A. (sociology and statistics), 1973; U of M, Ph.D (sociology),
- DC Office:
U.S. Census Bureau, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, D.C. 20233,
- Web site
Path to Power
Born in Kansas City, Mo., Groves never had one place he called
home for long as a child. Groves's father was a metallurgical
engineer, working for a variety of defense contractors, as well as
NASA, which meant the family moved often.
For college, Groves attended Dartmouth University, where he
studied sociology. In 1968, while working on a paper about prison
recidivism, Groves grew a mustache and found a job as a prison guard
in order to understand prison-life.
The selection of a census director was a contentious issue when
Obama entered office because of the national count scheduled for
2010. This debate grew more heated when the president announced that
the White House would monitor how the census was conducted in order
to assure Latinos and African American populations weren't
disenfranchised. When the president selected Groves in April 2009,
many Republicans jumped on the choice.
Republicans feared that Obama and Democrats would try to
politicize the census, which dictates the number of House Members
apportioned per state. The decennial count is also used to allot
federal dollars to the states. Groves is a past supporter of
sampling, and tried to employ it (unsuccessfully) in the 1990
census. But his boss, Commerce Secretary Locke, told lawmakers at
his Senate confirmation hearings that the bureau would not use the
controversial estimation method in 2010.
The Census Bureau is housed in the Commerce Department . Groves
will be reporting to an unnamed undersecretary at the Commerce, as
well as Secretary Locke . Groves will work closely with General
Counsel Cameron F. Kerry
Groves has donated $450 to political campaigns, all of which went
to Michael Bouchard (R), a Michigan senatorial candidate in 2006.