Duncan Appoints William J. Taggart to Lead Federal Student Aid Office

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Duncan Appoints William J. Taggart to Lead Federal Student Aid Office

June 1, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the appointment of William J. Taggart as chief operating officer (COO) of the department's Federal Student Aid office (FSA).

"Taggart is an inspiring leader, and he has the deep operational experience critical to maintaining and improving the major systems at FSA," Secretary Duncan said.

FSA became the federal government's first Performance Based Organization (PBO) when it was established as part of the Higher Education Amendments in 1998. PBOs create incentives for high performance and accountability for results, while allowing more flexibility to promote innovation and increased efficiency.

President Obama's proposed FY 2010 budget would significantly expand the federal student aid programs to make them more efficient and effective in serving students and families seeking help to pay for college. Under the budget proposal, the Department of Education will administer over $129 billion in new grants, loans, and work-study assistance in 2010—a 32 percent increase over the amount available in 2008—to help more than 14 million students and their families pay for college. A major initiative of the plan is for all new parent and student loans to be issued directly from the government rather than through private lenders. The change would save taxpayers an estimated $4 billion a year that will be directed to Federal Pell Grants and other aid for needy students.

Taggart has more than 24 years of business management experience with Fortune 50 U.S. companies. Before joining the Education Department, Taggart was president and chief executive officer of Veritas One Consulting, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy execution planning headquartered in Charlotte, NC.

Prior to his work with Veritas One, Taggart served as chief operating officer of corporate and investment banking at Wachovia Corporation, Charlotte, from 2004-2008. With Wachovia since 2000, Taggart served in a number of leadership capacities, including head of client services, president of Info-One, and chief administrative officer, Wachovia Insurance.

Taggart worked for First Union Corporation, Charlotte, from 1995 to 2000, serving as managing director, strategic support services, automation and operations division. From 1984 to 1995, Taggart worked in various technology, consulting and marketing roles for International Business Machines (IBM).

Taggart received a master's degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration (1991) and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Howard University (1984).