Kinder Institute Forum: Robert L. Santos

Nov 8, 2023
7:00pm - 8:15pm
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Brown Auditorium Theater
1001 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
Free with RSVP. Paid parking is available in the garages located at 1144 Binz Street and 5500 Main Street.

Robert Santos

Robert L. Santos, director of the U.S. Census Bureau, will discuss leveraging data to advance equity and diversity, lessons learned from the 2020 census, and plans to reach historically undercounted communities in 2030. 

Robert L. Santos is the first Latino to lead the U.S. Census Bureau. His career spans more than 40 years in survey research, statistical design and analysis. He has worked across a wide range of policy areas including education, health, immigration, environmental issues and housing. 

In conversation with Kinder Institute Director Ruth N. López Turley, Santos discussed leveraging data to advance equity and diversity, lessons learned from the 2020 census, and plans to reach historically undercounted communities in 2030. 

About Robert L. Santos

Robert L. Santos (he/him) is the 26th director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Prior to his appointment, he served as vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute where he directed its Statistical Methods Group.

Santos’ career spans over 40 years in survey research, statistical design and analysis, and executive-level management. He has held leadership positions in the nation’s top survey research organizations, including the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, and Temple University’s Institute for Survey Research. His research interests and experiences include quantitative and qualitative research design, such as program evaluation, needs assessments, survey methodology, and survey operations. In addition, he has expertise in demographic and administrative data, decennial censuses, social policy research, and equity issues in research.

Santos is a fellow and former president of the American Statistical Association (ASA), has served as an elected member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics. He is the recipient of the ASA Founder’s Award (2006), the AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement (2021), and the 2022 Ohtli Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the Mexican Government in recognition of contributions by persons in the U.S. who contribute exceptionally to the development of the Mexican community. In 2023, he received MALDEF's Excellence in Community Service Award. He has a B.A. degree in mathematics from Trinity University in San Antonio and an M.A. degree in statistics from the University of Michigan.

About the Kinder Institute Forum

The Kinder Institute Forum lecture series brings thought leaders from around the world to Houston to share ideas about the most pressing urban issues facing us today. Previous KI Forum speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond, global urbanist Richard Florida, Kresge Foundation senior fellow Carol Coletta, former Detroit city planner Maurice Cox, sociologist Eric Klinenberg and New York City Park Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

PNC is the title sponsor of the 2023 Kinder Institute Forum series.

Kinder Institute Director Ruth N. López Turley, left, and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Santos, right.
Census director Santos emphasizes community engagement as key to an inclusive count
RECAP :  Nov. 13, 2023

Seeking unique perspectives and insights can equip the U.S. Census Bureau to reach historically undercounted populations, Director Robert L. Santos said at the Kinder Institute Forum on Wednesday at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

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