Biden picks first person of color to head Census Bureau

Presidential Transition

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 19: The U.S. Census logo appears on census materials received in the mail with an invitation to fill out census information online on March 19, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it has suspended census field operations for the next two weeks over concerns of the census workers and their public interactions amid the global coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he would pick the president of the American Statistical Association to lead the U.S. Census Bureau as it works toward releasing data from the 2020 census that will be used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts.

If confirmed, Robert Santos, who is Mexican-American, would become the first person of color to serve as a permanent director of the Census Bureau, the nation’s largest statistical agency. Santos currently is vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute.

The San Antonio native is an expert in survey sampling. He has 40 years of experience in survey design and social science and policy research.

The Census Bureau is in the middle of processing the numbers that will be used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts following last year’s head count of every U.S. resident.

The statistical agency is set to release state population counts that will determine how many congressional seats each state gets this month and it will release more detailed data at smaller geographic levels as early as August.

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