Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Ph.D.


Colm A. O'Muircheartaigh, professor at Chicago Harris, served as dean of the Harris School from 2009 to 2014. His research encompasses survey sample design, measurement errors in surveys, cognitive aspects of question wording, and latent variable models for nonresponse. He is a senior fellow in the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), where he is responsible for the development of methodological innovations in sample design.

O'Muircheartaigh is co-principal investigator on NSF's Center for Advancing Research and Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (ARC-STEM) and on the National Institute on Aging's National Social Life Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). He is a member of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies (CNSTAT) and of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC), and serves on the board of Chapin Hall Center for Children.

O'Muircheartaigh joined Chicago Harris from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he was the first director of the Methodology Institute, the center for research and training in social science methodology, and a faculty member of the Department of Statistics from 1971. He has also taught at a number of other institutions, having served as a visiting professor at the Universities of Padova, Perugia, Firenze, and Bologna, and, since 1975, has taught at the Summer Institute of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

Formerly president of the International Association of Survey Statisticians and a council member of the International Statistical Institute, O'Muircheartaigh is actively involved in these and a number of other professional bodies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He was a member of the U.S. Census Bureau Federal Advisory Committee of Professional Associations (chair of the statistics subcommittee), a member of the Advisory Boards of the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), and a member of the National Academies Panel on Residence Rules for the 2010 Census. He has served as a consultant to a wide range of public and commercial organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Through his work with the United Nations (FAO, UNDP, UNESCO), OECD, the Commission of the European Communities, the International Association for Educational Assessment (IEA), and others, O'Muircheartaigh has also worked in China, Myan Mar, Kenya, Lesotho, and Peru.