Groves is an expert in statisical sampling-- which many Republicans oppose for the census.
Groves is a former Census Bureau associate director of statistical design, who served from 1990-92. He has spent decades researching ways to improve survey response rates. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take the helm less than a year before the decennial count, which has been beset by partisan bickering and will be used to apportion House seats and allocate billions in federal dollars.
Groves, 60, now a professor at the University of Michigan, would take over at a critical time. Census officials acknowledge that tens of millions of residents in dense urban areas — about 14 percent of the U.S. population — are at high risk of being missed due to language problems and a deepening economic crisis due to the financial meltdown that has displaced homeowners.
You can read more in Time Magazine at http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1889211,00.html.