Li named to U.S. Census Bureau committee on racial, ethnic populations

ASU professor Wei Li at Mekong Market in Mesa, Ariz.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations and has named ASU professor Wei Li as a member of the committee.

The National Advisory Committee will advise the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau's programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is made up of 31 members from multiple disciplines, will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.

“We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”

The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations.

Wei Li is a professor of Asian Pacific American studies and geography in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU, with appointments in the School of Social Transformation and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Her research specialties are international migration and integration, highly skilled migration and transnational connections, immigrant settlement and minority finance, focusing on the Pacific Rim. She chaired the Census Bureau's Race and Ethnic Advisory Committees on the Asian Population from 2010-2012.

Professor Li is an inaugural member of the National Asia Research Associates with the National Bureau of Asian Research and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2010-2011), and the Fulbright Research Chair in Queen's University, Canada (2006-2007). She received the 2012 Distinguished Scholar of Ethnic Geography Award from the Association of American Geographers' Ethnic Geography Specialty Group, and the 2009 Book Award in Social Sciences from the Association for Asian American Studies for her book on suburban immigrant communities.

Li also currently serves as a member of the International Steering Committee for the International Metropolis Project; she is North American director for the International Society of Studying Chinese Overseas and a member of the Asian American Community Justice Council for the Attorney General, State of Arizona.

Li earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in geography in Beijing and her doctorate in geography at the University of Southern California.