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People News for October 2017

1 October 2017 25 views No Comment

J. Michael Gilmore



J. Michael Gilmore, former director of operational test and evaluation for the Department of Defense (DoD), was honored at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Baltimore with the Defense and National Security Distinguished Achievement Award.

Given by the ASA’s Section on Defense and National Security, the award recognizes outstanding accomplishment or sustained contribution at the intersection of the statistical profession and national defense. The awards committee recognized Gilmore for the fundamental changes he made as director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) in how the DoD designs and analyzes data from operational tests, including his strong advocacy of statistically rigorous test methods to both improve the information gained from testing and provide clear justification for the required resources.

Ron Fricker, chair of the awards committee and head of the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics said of Gilmore, “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the award. I had the privilege of serving on a number of National Academies panels sponsored by DOT&E that were focused on improving how DoD does test and evaluation, including how it employs statistical methods to rigorously design and analyze the tests. In so doing, I was able to personally observe Dr. Gilmore’s strong and unwavering commitment to do the right thing, both in terms of testing and in support of our men and women in uniform.”

The Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation was created in 1983 by Congress. The director does not make acquisition decisions, but informs those who do about system performance under realistic operating conditions. A presidential appointee who is confirmed by the Senate, the director monitors all operational testing in the DoD and—by law—reports independently to Congress. In 2016, DOT&E monitored more than 300 DoD acquisition programs. The DoD’s total planned investment in the largest 79 of these programs is $1.44 trillion. The cost and complexity associated with these programs makes rigorous testing a critical part of the acquisition system.

The chair of the ASA’s Section on Statistics in Defense and National Security, Laura Freeman, said, “As the director of operational test and evaluation, Dr. Gilmore was an extraordinary advocate for using statistical methods in the testing of defense systems.” She went on to say, “He single-handedly changed the fundamental methodologies used across all of the services and components. It is worth noting that, in 1998, the National Research Council recommended using many of these methods to improve operational testing, but it took Dr. Gilmore’s leadership and vision to make it a reality.”

Gilmore was sworn in as the sixth director of operational test and evaluation in September 2009. He then served in that role under four secretaries of defense through both terms of the Obama administration. He is a former deputy director of general purpose programs within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and, prior to becoming the director of operational test and evaluation, he served as the assistant director for national security at the Congressional Budget Office. Gilmore holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and master’s and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Michael P. Cohen

Michael P. Cohen, a principal statistician at the American Institutes for Research was recently elected representative-at-large for business, industry, and government to the Mathematical Association of America Congress, with a three-year term beginning February 1, 2018.

Cohen is a member of Survey and Data Sciences. He has more than 35 years’ experience in complex survey design and estimation, including sample design, imputation, variances, sample size and power determination, and weighting. This experience includes seven years at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, working on sampling and estimation for the US Consumer Price Index and US Consumer Expenditure Survey. He spent 13 years at the National Center for Education Statistics, where he consulted on all their major surveys. He then worked for the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics for seven years, the last four as assistant director for survey programs.

Cohen has served as president of the Washington Academy of Sciences and Washington Statistical Society. He was the treasurer of the Survey Research Methods Section for 2015–2016. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Official Statistics and a contributing editor for the Journal of Experimental Education. He has also been an associate editor for the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Applications and Case Studies.

Robert F. Bordley



Robert F. Bordley was named professor of practice (or clinical professor) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is director of their master’s degree in systems engineering.

As a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and proud charter member of its Risk Analysis Section, Bordley has been integrating decision analysis, Bayesian statistics, risk analysis, and statistics in marketing into the systems engineering curriculum. As an Accredited Professional Statistician, analytics professional, expert systems engineering professional, and project management professional, he is also integrating certification training into the curriculum.

Formerly, Bordley was a program director at the National Science Foundation and technical fellow at General Motors. He worked in research, portfolio management, strategic planning, marketing, and quality engineering.

Bordley will also continue to support Booz-Allen Hamilton, where he has worked for seven years, as an adviser.

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