National Press Club

Former Census Director on Tuesday plans to explain why he left

July 22, 2017 | By Debra Silimeo |

John Thompson plans to explain his recent departure from the U.S. Census Bureau and what to expect from the bureau going forward at a National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Club’s conference rooms.

This news conference is open to credentialed media and Club members, free of charge but advance registration is required. Please click here to register.

Thompson left the Census Bureau leaderless just as preparations for the 2020 Census were ramping up.

When he resigned, Thompson had just testified before Congress, seeking the spike in funding that the bureau traditionally receives as it prepares for the every 10-year effort to the count the American population. He was leading efforts to update the data collection and allow people to respond for the first time on mobile phones.

The Census is mandated by the Constitution and the count is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts of equal population and to allocate federal resources.

Before he became census director in 2013, Thompson was president and chief executive officer of NORC, the National Opinion Research Center. He served as associate director of the bureau from 1975 to 2002.