Robert Santos Confirmed as First Latino to Lead Census Bureau

Mr. Santos will step in to oversee a department that has been severely hampered in its efforts by the pandemic, which forced the 2020 census to be conducted with a host of unfamiliar challenges, including mail delays and novel difficulties reaching people by phone or in person. He will be tasked with managing these challenges through his five-year term, which ends in 2026.

Democrats hailed the vote as a key addition to the Biden administration and one designed to restore the nonpartisan nature of the job.

“We need to protect our census from the pressures of partisan politics, and Mr. Santos is a perfect fit,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said in a statement. “I am confident that Mr. Santos will restore trust and integrity to one of the most important agencies in government.”

Though Mr. Santos’s work will hold deep implications for the political landscape and will produce the reports that inform domestic economic policy, he has stressed that he would not let politics shape his responsibilities.

“Although this is a political appointment, I am no politician,” he said at his confirmation hearing in July.

Nytimes Blog