Robert M. Groves is Provost at Georgetown University and a social statistician who studies the impact of social cognitive and behavioral influences on the quality of statistical information. His research has focused on the impact of mode of data collection on responses in sample surveys, the social and political influences on survey participation, the use of adaptive research designs to improve the cost and error properties of statistics, and public concerns about privacy affecting attitudes toward statistical agencies.
Prior to joining Georgetown as provost he was director of the U.S. Census Bureau (presidential appointment with Senate confirmation), a position he assumed after being director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, professor of sociology, and research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. He is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.
Groves has authored or co-authored seven books and scores of peer-reviewed articles. His 1989 book, Survey Errors and Survey Costs, was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research. His book, Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys, with Mick Couper, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award. His co-authored book, Survey Nonresponse, received the 2011 AAPOR Book Award. Groves has a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and master’s degrees in statistics and sociology from the University of Michigan. He also earned his doctorate at Michigan. He and his wife, Cynthia, have two sons — Christopher, in public service at the FAA, and Andrew, in medical school at Washington University, St. Louis.