As Groshen sees it, data are a public good, like roads and clean air, because everyone benefits when policy, personal, and business decisions are based on good evidence. Since starting her job in January, she's been busy talking to BLS stakeholders, employees, and former commissioners. Her aim is to ensure that the bureau charged with providing accurate and timely information on labor-market activity, working conditions, and price changes delivers the nation its full dollar's worth. Previously, Groshen was a vice president in the research and statistics group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she'd been since 1994. Before that, she was a visiting assistant professor of economics at Barnard College at Columbia University and an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. She has published research in academic and Federal Reserve journals on a variety of topics and was a visiting economist at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, in 1999–2000. Born in New York City, Groshen, 58, lived there for eight years growing up, and then returned in 1993. She has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). "The BLS is really the marriage of three of my professional loves: labor economics, data, and public service," she recently told a town-hall meeting of bureau employees.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported how long Groshen had been at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.