(Glastonbury, Conn.) Last night, the Senate confirmed Dr. Robert Groves as the new Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The Marketing Research Association welcomed his confirmation and applauded the Senate leadership for making it happen.

Dr. Groves’ nomination had been under a “hold”, a Senate procedural quirk allowing a pair of Senators to delay activity indefinitely. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, after much advocacy on the part of MRA and a wide variety of allied groups, scheduled a “cloture” vote (requiring 60 Senators) to break the “hold”. After winning the cloture vote 76 to 15, the Senate quickly approved Dr. Groves’ nomination to run the Census.

“The survey and opinion research profession is thrilled to see Dr. Groves, a widely recognized leader in the field, finally allowed to get to work. With the clock ticking furiously down to Census 2010, there is no time to lose, and we look forward to working with him and the Bureau to make the decennial count as accurate and complete as possible,” said Howard Fienberg, Director of Government Affairs at MRA.

Dr. Robert Groves, currently Research Professor at the University of Michigan, is a long-time expert in survey methodology and statistics. He has also served as an associate director of the Census Bureau from 1990 to 1992.

“In addition to the Senate Majority Leader, the research profession would like to thank Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins for their dedication to the Census and steering Dr. Groves through to confirmation.”

Data produced by the Census underpins nearly all aspects of survey and opinion research and MRA has advocated for adequate funding for years. The Census forms the baseline sample units for virtually every survey performed in the United States; the innovative research methods that a well-funded Census can develop benefit researchers of almost every kind; and a properly financed Census can promote proper data use, minimize respondent burden, respect individual privacy, and ensure confidentiality.