Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar Elected 2024 ASA President

Jenny Thompson Elected Vice President

Madhumita (Bonnie) Ghosh-Dastidar, a senior statistician at the nonprofit RAND Corporation and head of the RAND Statistics Group, was elected the 119th president of the American Statistical Association. She will be the first Asian-American female president and second Asian-American president of the ASA and serve a one-year term as president-elect beginning January 1, 2023; her term as president becomes effective January 1, 2024.

The ASA membership also elected Katherine (Jenny) Thompson, senior mathematical statistician of the Associate Directorate for Economic Programs at the US Census Bureau, as ASA vice president. Thompson’s term begins January 1, 2023.

As president, Ghosh-Dastidar’s platform will focus on three leadership principles of community, collaboration, and opportunity. One of her goals is to strengthen collaborations across ASA sections, chapters, and interest groups. She believes ongoing activities and events such as mixers, hackathons, and conferences are important ways to engage and attract new and current members. Ghosh-Dastidar also wants to continue the ASA’s efforts to engage with other societies. “I believe that we need to work together across disciplines and silos to tackle the biggest challenges of our day,” she said.

Raised in Kolkata, India, in a family that encouraged boys and girls to dream, Ghosh-Dastidar’s commitment to service was inspired by her parents’ dedication to helping the disadvantaged in their community. As a first-generation immigrant working in a leading statistics group in the US, she knows opportunity can change people’s lives and career trajectories. “The support I received has made me passionate about paying it forward by creating opportunity for early-career colleagues and students,” she acknowledged. Ghosh-Dastidar is passionate about advocating for statisticians to take on roles beyond that of skilled technicians—as thought leaders on teams and in organizations, on panels and in policymaking, and in how statistics are communicated by the media.

At RAND, Ghosh-Dastidar works on environmental interventions, behavioral interventions for HIV-positive patients, and population health. Current projects include multiple NIH-funded natural experiment evaluations of the effect of neighborhood-level improvements on residents’ diet, sleep, and cardiovascular health, as well as carefully examining the role of depression in treatment outcomes for HIV-positive individuals. Her prior experiences include being lead statistician for large-scale surveys on sexual assault and assessment in the US military and the first Singapore mental health study to assess national prevalence.

Thompson begins her tenure as ASA vice president after many years of dedicated service to the association. She has served as chair of the Government Statistics Section (as well as the Council of Sections representative) and was the program co-chair for ICES-VI. She is currently the statistics co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology.

Thompson is a survey statistician with more than 30 years of professional experience. Her practical and theoretical experience covers all areas of sample survey design, including sample selection, estimation, variance estimation, analysis, statistical data editing, imputation, and quality control. She was elected an ASA Fellow in 2017.

Thompson’s top three priorities for her tenure are to promote the Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice in a variety of accessible forums; encourage the publication of statistical methods and applications in peer-reviewed journals; and expand diversity in the field through educational initiatives, scholarships, and increased opportunities for conference attendance and participation—in person or remotely.

The ASA membership also elected the following:

  • Jana Asher, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Slippery Rock University, as the Council of Sections Representative to the ASA Board
  • Melinda Holt, Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean, Sam Houston State University, as the Council of Chapters Representative to the ASA Board
  • Ingrid Van Keilegom, Professor of Operations Research and Business Statistics, KU Leuven, as the International Representative to the ASA Board
  • Thomas Love, Professor, Biostatistics and Evaluation Unit, Center for Health Care Research and Policy, Case Western Reserve University, as Chair-Elect of the Council of Sections Governing Board
  • Jo Wick, Associate Professor of Biostatistics & Data Science, KU Medical Center, as Chair-Elect of the Council of Chapters Governing Board

View the entire slate of election results, including officers for each of the ASA’s 29 sections.