Thompson, who was nominated by President Obama on May 23, 2013 has been an executive at the NORC at the University of Chicago for the past 11 years, serving as president and CEO since 2008.
Before joining NORC at the University of Chicago, Thompson was a Census Bureau employee from 1975 to 2002 and oversaw the 2000 Census. He succeeds Robert Groves, who left office in August 2012 to become provost of Georgetown University. Following the departure of Groves, former Deputy Director Thomas L. Mesenbourg served as Acting Director. Mesenbourg had previously announced his long-planned retirement, which is effective August 2.
Thompson participated on 2010 Census design and review panels sponsored by the Committee on National Statistics. He is also an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, and has been elected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Committee on National Statistics at the National Academies of Science. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Virginia Tech.This is important news because, frankly, the Census Bureau activities are among the very most important things that the government does. Without the information they collect and analyze we would truly be flying blind as a society.