Thank you for your support of the APC during 2023. We write to provide you with an update on last year’s efforts.
As you know, much of the APC budget supports the work of the Government and Public Affairs Committee (GPAC). Throughout 2023, GPAC represented the interests of the population research community in meetings, reports, briefings, and more to the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. The GPAC team was led by Vida Maralani who serves as chair, PAA President Lisa Berkman, APC President Jennie Brand, and with outstanding GPAC staff leadership from Mary Jo Hoeksema. The following lists some of the major outputs generated by GPAC.
- Secured language accompanying appropriations FY 2024 reports promoting population research activities and findings supported by the National Institute on Aging and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and encouraging the agencies to continue investing in the surveys, centers, and grant programs that support the field.
- Sponsored first in-person advocacy day on Capitol Hill since 2019 in which representatives of PAA and the Association of Populations Centers met with 40 congressional offices to inform them about federally funded population research activities and to promote the funding needs of scientific and statistical agencies that directly and indirectly support the field.
- Sponsored first in-person congressional briefing since 2019 that was attended by almost 200 officials from congressional offices, federal agencies, and scientific and patient advocacy organizations. The briefing, “Happy Birthday, Baby—Boomers!” featured experts on a range of population aging issues.
- Organized two briefings for staff at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) headquarters in Washington, DC. PAA facilitates these seminars to share subject area and technical expertise of PAA members with GAO professionals, including statisticians, data analysts, economists, and demographers. In 2024, PAA sponsored briefings on the implications of reproductive health restrictions and early-life mortality trends in the U.S. that were attended by over 400 GAO staff.
- Issued action alerts to PAA members that generated over 200 messages to congressional offices urging funding for federal agencies that directly and indirectly support the field.
- Organized briefing on older adults in the workforce in response to request from staff on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.
- Advised congressional offices on proposed legislation regarding the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, and Office of Homeland Security Statistics.
- Signed over 20 letters in support of funding for agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Health Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Science Foundation, that directly and indirectly support the population sciences.
Federal Government Engagement
- Successfully secured designation of “Demography and Population Studies” by the Department of Homeland Security on official list of federally recognized STEM degrees. The list is used to determine if international students are eligible for an additional two years of degree-related employment in the U.S. after graduation.
- Presented testimony before the Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity, an advisory group led by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), regarding potential revisions to the current federal statistical standards for collecting race and ethnicity data.
- Conducted annual meetings with leaders of the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, to share population research findings and encourage continued funding of programs that promote and support the population sciences.
- Organized and participated in two meetings with leadership of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health.
- Conducted outreach to new Director of NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, Dr. Jane Simoni.
Nomination of PAA and APC Members for Expert Panels
- Responded to nomination requests from National Academy of Sciences to serve on variety of panels, workshops, and boards, including: Board on Children, Youth and Families; Research Priorities for Preventing & Treating Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias Study Panel; Societal Experts Action Network; Federal Policy Impacts on Child Poverty Study Panel; Use of Race and Ethnicity in Biomedical Research Consensus Study Panel; Committee on Law and Justice; and, Workshop on Identifying midlife social exposures that might modify risk for cognitive impairment associated with early life disadvantages.
- Nominated experts to serve on Census Bureau National Advisory Committee and 2030 Census Advisory Committee.
Responses to Requests for Information and Comments
Drafted comments in response to proposals and requests issued by Federal agencies, including:
- Office of Management and Budget–Proposed revisions to Federal race and ethnicity data collection standards
- National Institutes of Health–Real World Data
- National Institutes of Health–Scientific Integrity Policy
- Census Bureau–Proposed test of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identify questions on the American Community Survey
- Census Bureau–Proposed content changes to the 2025 American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey
- Census Bureau–Proposed sample size reduction to the Survey of Income and Program Participation
- Office of Management and Budget—Statistical Policy Directive #3 Revisions
- National Science Foundation–Roadmap for new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships
- Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee–Comments to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Ranking Member, Senate HELP Committee, regarding potential legislation to reauthorize the National Institutes of Health.
- National Institutes of Health–Revisions to NIH Mission Statement
- Office of Management and Budget–Trust Regulation
- Represented PAA and APC in meetings and activities convened by coalitions, including the Coalition for Health Funding; Friends of NCHS; Friends of NICHD; Friends of NIA; Coalition for National Science Funding; The Census Project; Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA); Friends of IES; Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS); Friends of AHRQ; Friends of BLS; and International Family Planning Coalition.
- Participated in Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill organized by Consortium of Social Science Associations and Coalition for Health Funding.
- Worked with coalition partners and scientific advocacy community to secure Senate confirmation of new NIH Director Dr. Monica Bertagnolli.
Responses to PAA Member Requests
During 2023, members of the PAA contacted GPAC to request assistance with a variety of issues and events, including:
- Funding cuts to large surveys supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
- Trouble accessing data from the National Survey of Family Growth.
- Data systems gaps regarding U.S. territories and Puerto Rico.
- Promotion of rural demography briefing in Washington, DC.
If you or any of your center members have an interest in engagement on any of the preceding activities or related topics, please don’t hesitate to let APC officers know of your or their interest. We can help facilitate connections and opportunities for you or them.
Additional APC Activities
Besides GPAC activities, APC members convened over the year to receive briefing updates, connect with NICHD and NIA program officers, share collaborative initiatives and updates, and meet during our semi-annual spring and fall meetings. APC benefited from a productive spring remote meeting and a wonderful in-person fall meeting at the University of Washington. The APC Officers continued executive sessions throughout the year to plan for the annual meeting and to plan the member convenings throughout the year. APC (Past) President Sara Curran participated in the annual PAA/APC Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. in 2023. APC President Jennie Brand is representing APC in 2024. We continue to be grateful to the PAA staff, Betsy Alafoginis and Danielle Staudt, for the support of our efforts.
APC also launched the APCA Working Paper Series. Please remember to submit your papers! APC also will launch the APC Fellows Program. Many thanks to Sarah Burgard, Sarah Hayford, and Jennifer Hirsch for coordinating this new initiative.
APC officers also held elections for vacant positions. Many thanks to Liz Gershoff (APC Secretary) for leading this effort. Our new officers beginning their two-year terms as of January 1, 2024 are Vice President Susan Brown (Bowling Green) and Treasurer Scott Lynch (Duke). We thank Past APC Vice President Will Dow and Past Treasurer Jennifer Karas Montez for their excellent leadership and service to the Association.
We are grateful for your continued support of APC. Please feel free to share this letter with your administrators and other staff and members of your population center. We look forward to meeting virtually in the spring and in-person in the fall in Minnesota during 2024.