Statement by BLS Commissioner Erica L. Groshen on the Passing of Former Commissioner Janet Norwood

NorwoodJanet Norwood was an icon here at BLS, and my colleagues and I are all deeply saddened by her passing.

Janet’s 28-year career at BLS was capped by serving as BLS Commissioner for 12 years, spanning three Presidential administrations. During her tenure, she rightly earned a reputation for integrity, professionalism, and impartiality.

She set the standard for BLS Commissioners for generations to come, and these attributes are ones that BLS leaders today strive to emulate. I know Janet will continue to inspire all who follow in her footsteps here at BLS.

Janet successfully ushered BLS through a time of tremendous change and modernization. As a consequence of her visionary leadership, the agency emerged as a model workplace. We are stronger and more dynamic, and the statistics we produce rose to new heights of prominence as a result of her efforts.

Her legacy lives on here in the halls of BLS—and on our website—where the tangible results of her many accomplishments can still be seen.‎ Simply put, all U.S. policymakers, businesses, and families‎ can make better decisions every day because of Janet Norwood’s work at BLS.

Whether we work in our regional field offices or our headquarters in Washington, we all owe Janet a debt of gratitude for her unflinching leadership and service to this agency and the nation. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.

You can learn more about Commissioner Norwood’s life and career in these obituaries.

The New York Times

The Washington Post

4 comments on Statement by BLS Commissioner Erica L. Groshen on the Passing of Former Commissioner Janet Norwood

  1. Joseph J. Minarik says:

    I was privileged to know Janet, and to work with her indirectly through her testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. She was a consummate professional, patient with the many whose knowledge of these important statistics fell short of hers, and kind and friendly as well. The staff of the Bureau must be saddened at this loss, but please know that others stand with you to share your pain. All of us, and the entire nation, are better off for her service.

  2. Richard Holden says:

    In 1983, while attending graduate school at the University of Texas, I attended a brown bag talk hosted by Professor Sidney Weintraub with Commissioner Norwood. The event was informal and I was immediately impressed by Ms. Norwood’s professional bearing, willingness to interact with students, and how well she communicated. I asked about declining budgets and the effect on the U.S. statistical system. She conveyed her concern that it would undoubtedly degrade our knowledge of the economy. Little did I know then that I would join the Bureau more than two decades later and be facing the same issues as in 1983. Professor Weintraub, my thesis advisor, passed away a year ago also at age 91. Both my professor and the Commissioner were public intellectuals, committed to knowledge and its proper application in government for the good of society. While surely saddened by the loss, we have much to be thankful with Commissioner Norwood leading us to excellence for so many years and in so many ways.

  3. Janet J. Mangano says:

    Dr. Norwood was my hero when I began working on Wall Street in 1979. She inspires me to this day. Thanks to her and the great work of the BLS, I had full confidence in the releases and the benchmark revisions that were critical components of my analysis and conclusions. Thank you, Dr. Norwood!

  4. Bailey Daniels says:

    Janet had been my number one inspiration when I began going to school for buisness in the early 80s. Ive watched her speak and been motivated by her natural professional bearing. I Myself and the rest of the nation will miss Ms. Norwood dearly.

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