IAOS joins the international official statistical community in acknowledging the huge contribution of Katherine Wallman who passed away on January 17, 2024, at the age of 80. Katherine was a giant in the international and American statistical communities and a cherished friend to many.
Before retiring in 2017, Katherine served as the chief statistician of the United States for 15 years, serving as the chair of the UN Statistical Commission (2004- 2005), as well as serving as the chair of the Conference of European Statisticians, UN Economic Commission for Europe from 2003 – 2007 and as a vice chair of the Statistics Committee, OECD from 2009 -2011. Her term as Chief Statistician, had followed a distinguished career in both federal statistics and in the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), established to speak for the value of federal statistics during an era of severe budget cuts.
Katherine was one of the early members of the IAOS, when it was founded in 1985 and took an active role in many of our activities, where her collegiality, curiosity, and profound knowledge of the subject added significantly to the debate. She was also a key supporter of Andreas Georgiou in his search for justice and a contributor to the SJIAOS.
Twice honoured as a US Presidential Meritorious Executive, Katherine was an elected member of the ISI, a fellow of both the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1982, Katherine served as ASA President and in 2007, was honored with the association’s Founders Award.
Over her career Katherine retained special interest in increasing cooperation between the several levels of government in the production of national statistics, strengthening the interface between academic and government statisticians, and enhancing the statistical literacy of the public.
A celebration of Katherine’s life will be held on Monday March 4th at 11, in St. John’s Episcopal Church – 6715 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101, USA
Members of the IAOS will miss Katherine’s leadership in our community, her humour and friendship. Our sincerest condolences to Katherine’s family, friends and colleagues at this time.