Susan Lapham is a vice president at AIR, contributing her expertise in program and talent management and quality assurance. Lapham also co-directs Project Talent, a nationally representative longitudinal study of 400,000 Americans who were first surveyed in 1960. She serves as principle investigator on several grants from the National Institute on Aging, to which she applies her training as a researcher and survey methodologist.
Lapham directs a dedicated research staff in the design of studies using Project Talent data to examine early-life predictors of later-life outcomes, including cognitive decline, quality of life and mortality. She also collaborates on the design studies centered on special populations, such as twins, veterans, persons with multiple chronic conditions and injuries, and racial minorities. She advises staff on quantitative and qualitative assessment, and statistical analysis and data interpretation.
In 2012 and 2013, Lapham served as director of the Research and Statistics Portfolio within the Education Program. Providing strategic direction and leadership for 180 staff, Lapham was responsible for directing rigorous research and data to inform education decisionmakers. From 2005 to 2012, Lapham was the executive director of the Education Statistics Services Institute for the National Center for Education Statistics and deputy director of the Federal Statistics Program at AIR.
Prior to joining AIR, Lapham worked for 20 years in the federal statistical system as associate director for Statistical Programs for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and as director of the American Travel Survey, the National Household Transportation Survey, and the Commodity Flow Survey. Lapham also spent ten years at the Census Bureau, including a one-year sabbatical at the Committee on National Statistics at the National Academy of Sciences working with the Committee on Census 2010. In 1999, the Vice President of the United States appointed Lapham to the Senior Executive Service.