Kirk Wolter

​Kirk M. Wolter is Chief Statistician and Executive Vice President of Statistics and Methodology and a Senior Fellow at NORC and Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Chicago. He is generally responsible for the methods of design and analysis used in NORC proposals and projects and for the NORC corporate research and development enterprise.

Wolter is an internationally recognized expert in survey statistics and methods.  He is the author of the book Introduction to Variance Estimation, which is widely read and cited  around the world by survey practitioners and theoreticians, and of dozens of journal articles, including "Reliability of the Uncertified Ballots in the 2000 Presidential Election  in  Florida,"  The  American Statistician,  2003 (with  Jergovic,  D.,  Moore,  W., Murphy, J., and O'Muircheartaigh, C.).

Wolter  has  led  or  participated  in  designing  many  of  America's largest  and  most important information systems, including the Current Business Surveys, the Current Employment Statistics  program, the Current  Population  Survey, the 1980 and  1990 Decennial Censuses of Population and Housing, the Consumer Price Index, the Economic Censuses, the National Resources Inventory, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, and the National Immunization Survey.  He also led the conversion of major market research surveys to scanning-based methods, both in America and in many parts of Western Europe.

Before joining NORC in 1994, Wolter was Vice President, Statistical Design Worldwide for the A.C. Nielsen Co., where he had executive accountability for statistical methodology in 30 countries.  Before he joined Nielsen, Wolter worked for 14 years at the U.S. Census Bureau, culminating in his role as Chief of the Statistical Research Division. There he led research programs in areas such as statistics, mathematics, geographic information systems, computer technology, and various social science disciplines. Concurrent with the Census post, Wolter served as Adjunct Professor at George Washington University. In 2002-03, he founded and directed the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for Survey Science at Iowa State University.

Wolter is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, a past President of the International Association of Survey Statisticians, and a past Chair of the Survey Research Methods Section of the American Statistical Association.