C. Louis Kincannon, a former director of the U.S.Census Bureau who was instrumental in bringing ethnic and linguistic diversity to his agency, especially in the corps of neighborhood census takers, died of cancer Dec. 15 at Washington Hospital Center. He was 72.
A daughter, Indya Kincannon, confirmed his death.
Mr. Kincannon began his career at the Census Bureau as a statistician in 1963. With the exception of service in the 1970s at the Office of Management and Budget and in the 1990s as chief statistician at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, he remained at the Census Bureau until retiring in 2008 after six years as director.
“He was a pioneer in diversity and inclusion,” said A. Mark Neuman, a friend and former colleague. “He wanted the Census Bureau to look like and sound like America.”
In hiring census enumerators, Mr. Kincannon sought out people who spoke the languages and knew the customs of the populations they were counting. He believed this form of sensitivity would produce a more accurate count, said Neuman, who chaired the census monitoring board for the 2000 Census and also chaired the 2010 Census Advisory Board.