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Michael Bentley

Assistant Division Chief for Census Statistical Support, Decennial Statistical Studies Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Michael Bentley is assistant division chief for Census Statistical Support in the Census Bureau’s Decennial Statistical Studies Division.

Michael began his career at the Census Bureau in 2001, as a mathematical statistician in the Data Collection and Operations Evaluation Branch in the Planning, Research, and Evaluation Division. Four years later he joined the Census Experiments Branch in the Decennial Statistical Studies Division, where he served as the branch chief from 2014 to 2017. In his current role, he provides statistical support to the division on statistical methods and data analyses related to the decennial census; responds to internal and external requests for information on decennial statistics; works on the Integrated Communications Program for the 2020 Census; and produces response rates and other metrics to monitor and evaluate census operations.

Michael has worked on a wide variety of experiments and research focused on improving census methodology. Among them: experimental design and analysis for the 2010 Census, statistical analysis of race and ethnicity data, and methods to optimize self-response and encourage online reporting. He previously led the planning and design of extensive research the Census Bureau conducted to prepare for the 2020 Census. He is considered an expert in self-response research and response rates.

Michael has authored numerous papers and reports and has presented his work at numerous academic conferences and professional meetings. He was awarded a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 2011 for his work on the bilingual form stratification to identify the areas that would receive a bilingual English and Spanish paper questionnaire in the 2010 Census. He received the Census Director’s Award for Innovation in 2018 for his work on the design and implementation of the Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators study that led to the creative strategy and media planning for the 2020 Census Integrated Partnership and Communications campaign. Michael received a master’s degree in survey methodology from the University of Maryland and bachelor’s degrees in statistics and psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. He also holds a master’s certificate in project management from George Washington University. 

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