Years on the NLS team: 1993-2015
Role: As PI of the NLSY79, I headed a collaborative effort to design the questionnaire for each round, and worried about various other issues such as usability and funding.
In the last several years we have added lots of new questions to the NLSY79 on health, business ownership, financial literacy, retirement expectations, wills/trusts, volunteering and charitable giving, educational expenditures, risk preference, religiosity, and more. This is the fun part of survey work, so I wouldn't call it a "challenge." I am just grateful that our colleagues at BLS were receptive to all the ideas, and that so many people were willing to roll up their sleeves and help with design efforts.
The NLS has been around for a very long time, it will (we hope) be here long after we are all gone, and it will always be recognized as a vital part of the social science infrastructure in the U.S. I consider it a privilege to have spent 22 years of my career contributing to a project that is so much more than the sum of its parts.