Government Agency

Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations


Washington, DC




Census advisory committee

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The National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations (NAC) is a census advisory committee of the U.S. Census Bureau which consults with local community leaders on what questions to ask and how to collect data on particular demographic groups.

A number of the members of the NAC are affiliated with left-of-center political advocacy groups, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National LGBTQ Task Force, and the National Urban League.

Targeted Groups

The NAC consults the Census Bureau on the following groups:1

  • Hard-to-reach populations
  • Ethnic and racial minorities
  • Aging populations
  • Populations affected by natural disaster
  • Highly mobile and migrant populations
  • Complex households
  • Rural populations
  • Population segments with limited technology access

The NAC also advises on languages and confidentiality issues. 2


The Director of the Census Bureau appoints up to 32 members of the NAC, including corporate executives, nonprofit leaders, university professors, and government officials. Many of these members are activists or members of organizations which support left-of-center causes. 34

Chair Julie Dowling is an associate professor of Latina and Latino studies at the University of Illinois. She is the author of Mexican Americans and the Question of Race, which criticizes the federal government’s conception of Hispanic ethnic and racial categories. 5

Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear is a Native American activist and co-founder of the United States Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network, a nonprofit which collects and centralizes demographic data on Native American tribes. Rodriguez-Lonebear has advised the Census Bureau on how to better collect data from tribal populations while suggesting this data be kept confidential from the American public. 6 Native Americans receive $5.6 billion per year from the American federal government, but the figure is dependent upon the group’s population count in the 2020 census. 7

Inderdeep Chatrath is the assistant vice president of Equal Opportunities and Affirmative Action Programs in the Office of Institutional Equity at Duke University and Duke Health. She is also a member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, an affirmative action advocacy nonprofit. 8

Nicole Borromeo is the executive vice president and general counsel of the Alaska Federation of Natives, an alliance of Alaskan Native tribes which supports increased American government subsidies and privileges for Native Americans. 9

Jacob Fitisemanu Jr. is a board member of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a nonprofit which advocates for increased health services for Asian Americans. 10

John C. Yang is the president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which advocates for Asian judge appointments. He was also a trade advisor in Barack Obama’s administration and has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party. 11

Meghan Maury is policy director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT interests. 12

Cherokee Bradley is a former committee member of the National Disability Rights Network, an advocacy group which supports the enforcement and expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 13

Thomas A. Saenz is the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a left-of-center litigation nonprofit that focuses on immigration, electoral law, and the census. 14

Barry Steinhardt was an executive of the American Civil Liberties Union for twenty years. 15

Hassan Jaber is the CEO of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, a left-of-center Arab American advocacy group. 16

Yolande P. Marlow is an executive staff member of the Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, a committee of the New Jersey Supreme Court tasked with eliminating bias and discrimination in the state judicial system. 17

Arturo Vargas is the CEO of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the associated NALEO Education Fund. NALEO is a left-of-center Hispanic advocacy group. 18

Marc H. Morial is the former Democratic mayor of New Orleans and the CEO of the National Urban League, a civil rights group which claims to be nonpartisan, but is associated with left-of-center politicians and groups. 19


  1. “National Advisory Committee (NAC).” United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  2. “National Advisory Committee (NAC).” United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  3. “National Advisory Committee (NAC).” United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  4. “Membership List.” United States Census Bureau. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  5. “Julie Dowling.” University of Illinois. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  6. “Tribal and US Census.” United States Indigenous Data Sovereignty Network. Accessed April 20, 2020.
  7. Nagle, Rebecca. “’We are still here’: Native Americans fight to be counted in US Census.” The Guardian. Accessed April 20, 2020.
  8. “Staff Directory.” Duke Office for Institutional Equity. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  9. “Policy Priorities.” Alaskan Federation of Natives. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  10. “About.” Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  11. “Individual Contributions: John C. Yang.” FEC. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  12. “About.” National LGTBQ Task Force. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  13. “Protect our Civil Rights. National Disability Rights Network. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  14. “Mission.” MALDEF. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  15. “Barry Steinhardt.” Huffington Post. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  16. “Our Roots.” ACCESS. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  17. “Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.” New Jersey Courts. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  18. “About Us.” NALEO. Accessed April 21, 2020.
  19. “The National Urban League.” National Urban League. Accessed April 21, 2020.
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Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations

Washington, DC