Keynote Speakers

The SAE 2020 Program Committee is pleased to announce that the following keynote speakers presentations will be held in the beautiful scenario of Naples.

Graham Kalton is a senior statistical advisor at Westat. He retired in 2019 from positions as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Senior Vice President and Senior Statistical Fellow at Westat where he had worked for 27 years. During this period, he was also a research professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Westat in 1992, Dr. Kalton was a research scientist at the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan, where he also held the titles of Professor of Biostatistics and Professor of Statistics. Earlier in his career, he was the Leverhulme Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Southampton and Reader in Social Statistics at the London School of Economics. He has served as President of the International Association of Survey Statisticians, as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on National Statistics, and of five CNSTAT panels, and as a member and chair of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods. In 1998-2000 he served as chair of a CNSTAT panel that was tasked with evaluating the US Census Bureau’ s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program at a time when that program was under development.

J. Sunil Rao, Ph.D is Professor and Director of the Division of Biostatistics in the Department of Public Health Sciences (DPHS). Previously, Dr. Rao was Professor of Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Rao's research interests include high dimensional model selection, mixed model selection, predictive modeling, sparse bump hunting and development of statistical methods in cancer genomics. Dr. Rao teaches Generalized Linear Models in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Biostatistics. He is also a fellow of the American Statistical Association. J. Sunil Rao works on various aspects of modeling cancer data from high dimensional genomic data to small area estimation (estimating quantities in areas/locations where little or no direct data is collected), all the way through to modeling health disparity data. Most recently, Professor Rao has begun working in modeling pharmacogenomic data - both in trying to identify novel drug targets but also in trying to validate high throughput pharmacogenomic studies. Finally, Professor Rao has developed a number of R software modules that are used widely around the world.

J. Sunil Rao, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Division of Biostatistics, has been named Interim Chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences.
He is a member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his primary disease area of focus has been colorectal cancer — from screening for early detection, to unraveling the genomic determinants of progression, to the identification of patients who are the most likely to respond (or not respond) well to given treatments.
“Dr. Rao is an internationally respected researcher who is committed to solving important scientific questions through the development and application of new statistical methods,” said Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., Interim Dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “With his research collaborators, he has made fundamental discoveries for the analysis of complex data.”
These achievements include spike and slab regression for high dimensional genomic data, fence methods for mixed model selection, the observed best predictor for robust small area estimation, local sparse bump hunting for the identification of informative subgroups, classified mixed model prediction for precision medicine and, most recently, the formalization of precision disparity modeling.
Rao has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers in top statistical and scientific journals, and his research program has received uninterrupted PI funding since 2000 from the National Science Foundation and/or the National Institutes of Health. He is also a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Rao is a theme leader of the Cancer Control and Prevention Program of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he has been the co-Director of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design component of the UM Clinical and Translational Science Institute since 2011.
After earning his B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Ottawa in 1989, M.S. in Biostatistics at the University of Minnesota in 1991, and Ph.D. in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto in 1994, Rao began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1994. He joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University in 1998, where he worked for the next 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as Professor and Director of the Division of Biostatistics.
Rao joined the Miller School faculty as Professor and Director of the Division of Biostatistics in 2010. Among the achievements of the division since then has been the creation of a Ph.D. and M.S. program in Biostatistics, establishment of the Biostatistics Collaboration and Consulting Core, recruitment of seven new faculty, and a significant increase in the amount of statistical science as evidenced by important papers and a marked increase in extramural grant funding by division faculty.
As public health continues to evolve to address increasingly difficult challenges, Rao hopes to promote more interdisciplinary research across the University and his department’s five divisions: Biostatistics, Environment and Public Health, Epidemiology and Population Health, Health Services Research and Policy, and Prevention Science and Community Health. He also intends to continue to strengthen and expand graduate program offerings in the department.
Graham Kalton, Ph.D., is a Senior Vice President and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Westat from 2006 to October 2018. He is an internationally known senior statistician and senior methodologist who has conducted research on many aspects of survey methodology and has been a consultant on a number of Federal statistical programs. His research interests include sampling rare and hard-to-reach populations, panel surveys, nonresponse adjustments and imputation, and small area estimation.
Dr. Kalton’s preeminence in the fields of survey statistics and survey methodology is well recognized; he is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, and a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He is also a recipient of the Jerzy Neyman medal from the Polish Statistical Association. Dr. Kalton is a recipient of the Morris Hansen Lecture Award and the Waksberg Award. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Dr. Kalton has been named a Westat Senior Statistical Fellow and co-chairs the Statistical Fellows Committee, which provides consultation on important survey statistics issues and addresses recent advances in applied statistics.
Dr. Kalton currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, Statistics in Transition, and the Wiley Series in Survey Methodology. He also holds the title of research professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.
He is Chair of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods and has served on the Committee for National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the NAS and a number of CNSTAT panels, the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics, and the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee.
Ph.D., Survey Statistics, University of Southampton, United Kingdom M.Sc., Economics (with a specialty in Mathematical Statistics) , London School of Economics and Political Science B.Sc., Economics (with a specialty in Statistics), London School of Economics and Political Science