Frauke Kreuter
Tailored Training for Employees of Federal Statistical Agencies: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Washington Statistical Society, Washington, DC, 13. April 2016

A quarter century ago the idea of a Joint Educational Program emerged from the Federal Statistical agency heads, the then current head of the OMB Statistical Policy Office, and the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. They recognized the mismatch between the disciplinary organizations of most universities and the technical staffing needs of the federal statistical system, and suggested that a new academic organization be formed. This led to the formation of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology as a center for graduate education and research in the DC area. The program started small, with noncredit short courses. Later, Masters and Ph.D degree programs, certificate and citation programs, and undergraduate offerings were added. With this presidential lecture the Washington Statistical Society recognizes and wants to highlight the enormous impact this program has had on the staffing within the Federal Statistical System, as well as the profession of survey methodology and survey statistics as a whole. As the federal statistical system faces changes in data collection and analysis needs, their requirements for staff training are changing as well. Many data sources are now available that are alternatives to surveys, and agencies are hoping that they will provide economical alternatives or supplements to sample surveys. Those changes are reflected in a significant shift in the educational offerings from the Joint Program, both in content and delivery mode.The presentation will introduce both, and we welcome a fruitful discussion about the way forward.