Susan S. Ellenberg receives Janet L. Norwood Award for outstanding achievement by a woman in statistical sciences

Susan S. Ellenberg, Ph.D.Susan S. Ellenberg, professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, is being honored by the University of Alabama at Birmingham with its 17th Annual Janet L. Norwood Award.

Given by the university’s Department of Biostatistics, the award recognizes outstanding career achievement by a woman in the statistical sciences.  Ellenberg will be honored at a dinner Sept. 25 in Birmingham, and will meet with students and young faculty at UAB, and receive a $5,000 honorarium.

In 2002, UAB said each recipient of the Janet L. Norwood Award is to be an internationally recognized statistician.  In giving the award, UAB’s Department of Biostatistics said it wishes to “recognize the contribution of all women to the statistical sciences.”  It added, “Women have been traditionally under-represented in many fields of science, with the degree of under-representation greater for the quantitative sciences.  This denies the field the benefit of the great contributions women are obviously capable of making to the statistical sciences.  Establishing this award will help promote the active involvement of women in the statistical sciences at all levels from high school through senior faculty and scientists.”

Norwood was the first woman commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and is past-president of the American Statistical Association.  She served as presidential appointment to the Chair of the Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation from 1993-96, under then President Bill Clinton.  From 1979 through 1991, she was the U.S. Commissioner of Labor Statistics, responsible for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its work in compilation, publication, and interpretation of statistics on employment and unemployment, prices, compensation, industrial relations, productivity, and economic growth.  Norwood received a Distinguished rank in the Senior Executive Service from President Ronald Reagan.

Ellenberg joined the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She previously served as the director of the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research as well as the chief of the Biostatistics Research Branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease’s Division of AIDS.

Ellenberg also served as president of Eastern North American Region International Biometric Society in 1999, president of the Society for Clinical Trials in 1993 and was the 1995-19996 chair of the Section on Statistics of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. She has served on numerous task forces and committees for the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services. In 2014, she was honored with the National Institute of Statistical Sciences Distinguished Achievement Award.  

Ellenberg co-wrote “Data Monitoring Committees in Clinical Trials: A Practical Perspective” with Thomas Fleming and David DeMets, which was named the Wiley Europe Statistics Book of the Year in 2002.

Ellenberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College, a master’s of arts in teaching in mathematics from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a doctoral degree in mathematical statistics from George Washington University.