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Statistics Without Borders Executive Committee

The Statistics Without Borders Executive Committee consists of seven SWB volunteers and a representative from the American Statistical Association. The Executive Committee (EC) meets twice monthly to discuss new projects, volunteers, and other issues involving SWB. Elections for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer are held every two years.

The members of the Statistics Without Borders Executive Committee for 2018-2020 are:

Chair: Jean Opsomer

Jean Opsomer is Professor and Chair in the Department of Statistics at Colorado State University. His main areas of statistical expertise are survey statistics and nonparametric methods. He is delighted to be able to assist SWB as it continues to expand its operations and develops a more effective organizational structure. 


Vice Chair: Jae Brodsky

Jae Brodsky works in statistical genetics on problems in machine learning, big data analysis, and Bayesian techniques. She has a Ph.D. in statistics from UCLA and previously worked at the FDA. 


Vice-Chair Elect: Davina Durgana

Davina P. Durgana, PhD is an award-winning international human rights statistician who has developed leading global models to assess risk and vulnerability to modern slavery. Dr. Durgana is a Report Co-Author and Senior Statistician on the Global Slavery Index of the Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free Initiative. She is the American Statistical Association's 2016 Statistical Advocate of the Year and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in Science for 2017 for her work on statistical modeling, human security theory, and human trafficking. Dr. Durgana has also recently been announced as an inaugural IF/THEN Ambassador working to encourage women to pursue STEM fields with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Engagement Director: David Whitford

David Whitford was formerly with the U.S Census Bureau and led the division of statisticians responsible for statistical aspects of the Decennial Censuses and the monthly American Community Survey. He currently provides consultation on survey methodology to developing countries, governments, and NGOs. His interests are dual system estimation, record linkage, R, tennis, and travel. 

Operations Director: Smita Skrivanek

Smita Skrivanek works in the field of quality and continuous improvement and consults on process improvement projects. She is interested in human rights, animal rights, environmental and social justice issues. 


Marketing & Communications Director: Matt Brems

Matt Brems works at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority as a data scientist, is managing partner of a consultancy, BetaVector, and is a member of General Assembly's Distinguished Faculty. He is interested in data visualization, missing data, and Python programming. He holds a Master's degree in statistics from The Ohio State University.


Past Chair (emeritus), New Client Acquisition Co-Chair: Cathy Furlong

Cathy Furlong is currently employed in the Medicare fraud industry where she works on data mining, sampling/extrapolations, and Administrative Law Hearings with Medicare data. She holds a Masters in Statistics from American University. Her areas of interest are human rights and nature. Other areas of volunteer work are as A Fairfax County Master Gardener, on the Glen Echo Park Waltz Committee, and with the Caucus for Women in Statistics.


Co-Founder, New Client Acquisition Co-ChairGary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro is retired from Westat, where he was Senior Statistician from 1996 to 2009. Gary was the lead statistician, senior statistician, or/and task leader on over 30 projects, mostly involving survey sample design, weighting, and variance estimation. Prior to being at Westat, Gary was a Senior Statistician at Abt Associates from 1993 to 1996, where he was the lead statistician for a number of surveys. From 1965 to 1993 Gary was at the U.S. Census Bureau. For almost 20 years of this period, he was an Assistant Chief of the Demographic Statistical Methods Division, where he oversaw the operation of up to five branches with the responsibility for sample design, weighting, and variance estimation for the demographic surveys. He is a co-founder of Statistics Without Borders, together with Steve Pierson and Fritz Scheuren. He served as initial SWB Co-Chair and then as Chair from 2010 to 2012.


Co-Founder, ASA Ex Officio Board Member: Steve Pierson

Steve has been ASA Director of Science Policy since March, 2008. Previously, he was Head of Government Relations for the American Physical Society and Associate Professor of Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. 

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