NOV. 8, 2022 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today a change in associate director for Decennial Census Programs. Albert E. Fontenot Jr., who has held the position since October 2017, will be moving to a new role as executive senior advisor for Decennial Census Programs. Deborah Stempowski, currently assistant director for Decennial Census Programs, will be associate director for Decennial Census Programs.
The associate director for Decennial Census Programs serves as advisor to the director and deputy director on decennial programs including the 2020 Census, the American Community Survey and the Census Bureau’s geographic programs.
“I have had the honor and privilege of working in the Decennial Census and Field Directorates for two censuses over the past decade and a half, with the most dedicated, committed and talented team of people,” said Fontenot. “While I love what I do, wise leaders recognize the time to pass the torch to the next generation, who will bring the right combination of new and proven skills, abilities, temperament to lead the team in the planning, preparation and execution of the 2030 Census. Deb Stempowski is that fully qualified, capable and collaborative next generation leader.”
Previously, Fontenot served as the assistant director for Field Operations and director of the Chicago Regional Office. Fontenot brought motivation and disciplined process to these roles and delivered outstanding leadership in helping to drive a coordinated approach to 2020 Census preparation and operations.
Fontenot joined the Census Bureau in 2009 as a temporary census employee in the Los Angeles region and served in numerous roles during the 2010 Census including assistant and regional director. He also has extensive executive leadership experience in the private sector and is a decorated military veteran, having served as a U.S. Army officer with combat service in Vietnam.
Deborah Stempowski became the acting assistant director for Decennial Programs in September 2019, before taking on the position permanently in February 2021. She has been responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of the 2020 Census Program and its 35 operations as well as early planning for the 2030 Census. In additional to the decennial census, she oversaw the American Community Survey Office, the Decennial Statistical Studies Division and the Decennial Directorate Support Services Office.
“Al Fontenot is an incredible leader, boss and mentor. I will certainly use everything that I have learned from him as I take on the challenge of this new role,” said Stempowski. “I am excited to lead the work of the Decennial Census Programs Directorate, working with Deputy Director Jarmin and Director Santos, as the Census Bureau continuously improves our programs to better serve our stakeholders. I remain committed to the Decennial Census Programs staff, leading them as they develop into the workforce of the future. I am confident that we will achieve great things working together on our transformational journey.”
Stempowski moved to the Decennial Programs Directorate in May 2015, first overseeing survey operations as chief of the American Community Survey Office and then in May 2016 as chief of the Decennial Census Management Division. Over her 31-year Census Bureau career, she has worked in the Director’s Office, the Economic Programs Directorate, the Research and Methodology Directorate and also completed a detail to the Office of Management and Budget.
“We are grateful for Al Fontenot’s years of leadership in our decennial census programs and in our regional offices. I look forward to working with him in his new advisory capacity,” said Robert L. Santos, director of the Census Bureau. “And we congratulate Deborah Stempowski on her new role. We look forward to her leadership and expertise in helping to shape the 2030 Census and other decennial directorate programs. We also look forward to her contributions in advancing our enterprise-level Transformation and modernization initiative, including its emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.”
Stempowski has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State University and a master’s degree in financial management from the University of Maryland, University College. She has also received both a graduate certificate in project management and a graduate certificate in business analysis from George Washington University. She has been a certified project management professional (PMP) since December 2001.