Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer has announced the selection of Cynthia Clark as administrator of the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). She will oversee the agency's efforts to collect and disseminate data on every facet of U.S. agriculture.

"Cynthia Clark is known as an accomplished statistician, highly respected both here in the United States and overseas for her expertise in survey research and development," said Schafer in announcing the selection. "I look forward to working with her as the NASS administrator."

Clark recently directed statistical research and survey methodology for the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics and, prior to that, at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Gale Buchanan announced the selection to NASS staff. "NASS's mission of providing timely, accurate and useful statistics is vital to the entire agricultural community," said Buchanan. "I'm confident Cynthia Clark's extensive knowledge and experience will help NASS continue to carry out this mission and lead to new and exciting opportunities for the agency."

Clark has strong roots in agricultural statistics, having previously spent 13 years working on the Census of Agriculture and serving as the Director of the NASS Census and Survey Division. She has also served in numerous professional positions with the American Statistical Association (ASA), the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and the International Association of Survey Statisticians. Additionally, she is a fellow of the ASA, an elected member of ISI and a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Clark will lead NASS's efforts to conduct hundreds of surveys and issue nearly 500 national reports each year on issues including agricultural production, economics, demographics and the environment. NASS also conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years, providing the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation.