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women group illustration

Many prominent women statisticians have served as presidents of the Caucus for Women in Statistics (CWS), which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. These presidents were typically already leaders in their workplaces, and a remarkable proportion – 33/47 or 70% – were (or still are) ASA Fellows.

According to the ASA: “The designation of ASA Fellow has been a significant honor for nearly 100 years. Under ASA bylaws, the Committee on Fellows can elect up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership as fellows each year.

“To be selected, nominees must have an established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science.”

CWS presidents Barbara Bailar, Janet Norwood, and Jessica Utts also went on to become presidents of the ASA. Donna Brogan, Nancy Flournoy, Janet Norwood, Mary Gray and Amanda Golbeck were given the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) Elizabeth L. Scott Award; and Juliet Shaffer and Nancy Flournoy were given the COPSS Florence Nightingale David Award.

CWS presidents have been leaders in our profession in many ways; for example, Tomi Mori was president of the Biometric Society – Western North American Region, and Nicole Lazar was editor of The American Statistician.

  • Editor’s note: This article accompanies Amanda L. Golbeck’s April 2020 magazine article, “Supporting an inclusive community: A Caucus for Women in Statistics”, discussing the history of the CWS.

TABLE 1 CWS presidents, 1971–2021, including ASA Fellow Citations.

CWS President Year President ASA Fellow Year ASA Fellow Citation
(courtesy of the ASA)
1971-3 Donna Brogan 1985 For excellence in teaching especially in the health professions; for an exceptionally diverse and expert role as consultant, collaborator, and investigator in health and social research; and for dedicated service to the profession and the Association.
1974-5 Marie Wann 1974 For important contributions to sample survey methodology and to the application of statistical methods to the fields of education, health and economics, and for leadership in improving the statistical techniques used throughout the U.S. Government.
1976 Joan Rosenblatt 1967 For contributions to the field of systems reliability theory, pioneering work in the application of statistical methods in the physical sciences and for distinguished service to the statistical profession as officer, organizer, editor, writer, and lecturer.
1977 Barbara Bailar 1975 For outstanding contributions to the mathematical modeling of survey errors and to the planning and management of large-scale experiments which have permitted the estimation of the parameters of such models.
1978 Janet Norwood 1974 For creative leadership in the development of new programs in price measurement and for outstanding management of the ongoing BLS programs in the field of economic statistics.
1979 Irene Montie    
1980 Shirley Kallek 1972 For her innovative work in developing new data series, especially on minority business enterprise, and for her outstanding contribution to the improvement of existing industry statistics through effective administration and improved application of computer techniques.
1981 Beatrice Vaccara 1970 For her major contributions to the advancement of economic statistics in input-output accounting in the study of economic growth, and in the analysis of foreign trade.
1982 Eileen Boardman    
1983 Lee-Ann Hayek 1996 For innovative statistical modeling, providing creative solutions to scientific research problems in biodiversity and biological, paleobiological, and anthropological sciences, for versatile teaching of statistical concepts as applied to a wide variety of disciplines; and for service to the profession.
1984 Jane Gentleman 1983 For innovative research contributions on detection of outliers, statistical computing, statistical graphics and data analysis; and for important applied research in smoking, health and gerontology.
1985 Nancy Gordon 2000 For leadership of Census Bureau’s Demographic Programs and the application of statistics and microsimulation to examine policy and legislation in a balanced, nonpartisan manner.
1986 Arlene Ash 1998 For pioneering work in modeling the expected costs of health care and promoting the use of such models to protect the chronically ill and their providers, and for substantial and continued service to the profession.
1987 Sandra McKenzie    
1988 Jessica Utts 1990 For contributions to research methodology in psychology and in robustness techniques, and especially for excellence in teaching, consulting, and outstanding service to the profession.
1989 Cynthia Clark 1997 For contributions to statistical research in government; for mentoring and training efforts to rebuild the government statistical workforce; and for leading change at the Census Bureau.
1990 Sue Leurgans    
1991 Cyntha Struthers    
1992 Stephanie Shipp 2002 For leadership and innovation in improving the quality and usefulness of federal income and expenditure data and for outstanding contributions to the ASA, particularly for initiating programs to encourage and facilitate women’s participation in statistics.
1993 Barbara Tilley 1992 For leadership in collaborative research and consulting in a medical environment, for contributions to the design, implementation, and administration of clinical trials, and for significant service to the profession.
1994 Juliet Shaffer 1988 For significant contributions to the theory and methods of multiple comparisons, for excellence in teaching and consulting, for dedicated editing of applied statistics journals, and for service to the Association.
1995 Mary Batcher 2003 For entrepreneurship in business applications of statistics; for leadership in developing and mentoring statisticians; for outstanding service to the profession.
1996 Pamela Doctor    
1997 Sandra Stinnett    
1998 Elizabeth Margosches 2007 For significant impact on scientific policy issues at the Environmental Protection Agency; for recruitment and mentoring of women in government agencies; and for exemplary service to the profession.
1999 Holly Shulman    
2000 Janet Williams    
2001 Nancy Allen    
2002 Mari Palta 2004 For highly original research contributions to the analysis of data subject to uncertainty, either from measurement error or missingness, and to the analysis of longitudinal data; for mentoring of junior colleagues; and for service to the profession.
2003 Martha Aliaga 1999 For outstanding contributions to statistical education through the development and use of innovative teaching methods; for sustained dedication to the advancement of women and minorities; and for service to the profession.
2004 Mariza de Andrade    
2005 Julia Bienias    
2006 Mary Gray 2007 For outstanding contributions in encouraging women and minorities in the study and practice of statistics and mathematics; for leadership in the applications of statistics in the field of human rights and litigation; and for statistical services to developing countries.
2007 Tena I. Katsaounis    
2008-9 Marcia Ciol    
2010 Jennifer D. Parker 2017 For statistically innovative and scientifically important contributions to the production and analysis of health-related data, particularly in the areas of integrating NCHS survey data with administrative and other data, environmental health, and reproductive health; for excellence in statistical consulting, collaborative work, mentoring, and administering statistical activities; and for dedicated service to the federal statistical system and the profession.
2011 Amanda L. Golbeck 2011 For highly influential leadership, especially for significant organizational and system changes in several academic institutions; for exemplary mentorship of junior faculty and students; for pioneering work in health numeracy; and for important contributions to research in public health and medicine.
2012 J. Lynn Palmer 2010 For contributions to the medical research community in the field of statistics; for outstanding mentoring of women and junior researchers; for service and exceptional leadership to the ASA.
2013 Susmita Datta 2012 For excellence in methodological and collaborative research in bioinformatics and biostatistics, student training and service to the statistics and computational biology communities.
2014 Nancy Flournoy 1992 [Citation could not be located.]
2015 Paula Roberson 2000 For excellence as a statistical collaborator in clinical research; for fostering of statistical consulting and education; and for service to the profession.
2016 Jiayang Sun 2005 For outstanding contributions to statistical theory, applications and interdisciplinary research, particularly in simultaneous confidence regions and multiple testing, bump hunting and biased sampling, mixtures and image analysis, and high-dimension graphics; for innovation in teaching; and for service to the profession.
2017 Ji-Hyun Lee 2018 For outstanding collaboration in multidisciplinary research teams; for providing critical contributions to successful multidisciplinary grant awards and publications with high impact on scientific research and public health policy; for training and mentoring junior faculty and staff research scientists in the conduct of cutting-edge research and successful multidisciplinary research; and for exemplary service to the profession.
2018 Shili Lin 2004 For outstanding research in computational and methodological statistical genetics and applications to human disease; for leadership in mentoring students; and for service to the profession.
2019 Nicole Lazar 2014 For foundational statistical contributions to the area of empirical likelihood; for the development of new statistical methods for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data; and for developing, reforming, and enhancing statistical education.
2020 Wendy Lou 2013 For notable contributions to the distribution theory of runs and patterns; for remarkable collaborations in the biomedical and healthcare sciences; for exemplary leadership in statistical education and outstanding service to the profession.
2021 Tomi Mori 2010 For leadership in establishing biostatistics at her university; for extensive and high-level collaborative consulting work in medical research; and for dedication to mentoring activities.


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