Posts Tagged ‘assistant secretary’

Our First Sit Down With The New Assistant Secretary

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Kim Green and I were pleased to have our first formal meeting yesterday with OVAE Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier.  During the course of our 45 minute meeting we spoke broadly about a variety of topics as we all began to get to know each other better and lay the groundwork for a productive working relationship. 

We discussed the progress we are making on following up the ideas presented at the Fall Summit, the Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation (i3) funds, area career technical education centers, the importance of accountability, and leadership development.  We also shared some of our thoughts about the upcoming FY 2011 appropriations process as well as what the future may look like for CTE’s place in legislation such as the reauthorizations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Workforce Investment Act.

The Assistant Secretary that many of us saw present at the Fall Summit in Baltimore is the same person we met with at her office yesterday: forthright, enthusiastic, goal oriented, and supportive of making CTE an important component of education policy. We look forward to a solid, positive relationship with the Assistant Secretary and the rest of the OVAE staff over the next several years.

By admin in Advance CTE Announcements, Public Policy
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New OVAE Assistant Secretary Confirmed

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier has been confirmed by the Senate as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education.  In this role, she will oversee the administration of high school, career technical and adult education; lifelong learning; community colleges; and workforce and economic development programs across the country.

Dr. Dann-Messier served most recently as the President of Dorcas Place, an Adult and Family Learning Center in Providence, RI which offers individuals educational and job placement services, college preparatory classes and family literacy programs.  She previously served the U.S. Department of Education as Secretary Richard Riley’s Regional Representative for Region I in Boston, MA.  Prior to her work with the Clinton Administration, Dr. Dann-Messier directed two TRIO programs, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center (1987 – 1993) and the Educational Talent Search Program (1991 – 1993) of the Community College of Rhode Island.  Dr. Dann-Messier served as a member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and chaired the Academic and Student Affairs subcommittee for the board. 

She received her B.A. and her M.Ed from Rhode Island College and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Johnson and Wales University.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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A White House Community College Initiative and An OVAE Assistant Secretary?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

On June 17, during the Democratic Leadership Conference  policy forum, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel announced that in the next few weeks the President would be making a major announcement on community colleges. He said there will be a “rewriting of all legislation related to job training and vocational education, but most importantly in the area of community colleges.”  This appears to be a follow up to the statement made by the President on May 8. Emanuel said that “a lot of people, when we talk about education, talk about universities. What has been forgotten is how important the community-college system is to our economy, our ability to compete in a global economy. It is literally the conveyor belt to allow people to upgrade their skills when they are going from X job to Y career.” Emanuel inferred that a new infusion of resources to community colleges was likely to be part of the announcement. The Workforce Investment Act reauthorization is pending and seems to be the likely vehicle to carry forward this sort of legislative change.

Today, at a meeting of education stakeholders , U.S. Department of Education officials tasked with higher education responsibilities were asked about this proposal and responded that they are not familiar with the specifics of the President’s proposal.

A rumor making its way around town is that the announcement of the OVAE Assistant Secretary is imminent.  While no names have been released, the rumor mills has bets on someone who has an adult education background.

By Kimberly Green in Public Policy
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