Education Department’s Student Aid Office Adds Experienced Leaders

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Education Department’s Student Aid Office Adds Experienced Leaders

July 12, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) recently added leaders in key roles that will focus on improving operations and accountability in the areas of student loan servicing and postsecondary institution compliance.

On filling the two new and three existing roles, FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray said, ""We have important work ahead of us on behalf of students, parents, and borrowers, and we are pleased to have these experienced, dedicated public servants here at Federal Student Aid."

All positions will report to the chief operating officer. They include:

Sartaj Alag, Senior Advisor for Management

Sartaj Alag joins FSA with a background in consumer finance. He will serve in a new role as senior advisor for management, where he will take over the Principal Deputy Chief Operating Officer portfolio and oversee the enterprise finance, technology, and acquisitions functions. Sartaj spent six years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where he was the Chief Operating Officer and helped to start and managed the Office of Consumer Response. Prior to his role at the CFPB, he worked at Capital One for almost 10 years. During his tenure, he served as president of Capital One’s Canadian subsidiary and in additional executive leadership roles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, a master’s degree in electronical engineering from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kristen Donoghue, Senior Advisor

Kristen Donoghue joins FSA with a background in consumer finance, regulatory compliance, and law enforcement. In the new role of senior advisor, Kristen will focus on initiatives to rebuild oversight, compliance, and accountability of institutions of higher education, improve loan forgiveness programs, and represent FSA in certain negotiated rulemaking processes. She joins FSA from Capital One Financial Corporation, where she served as managing vice president of compliance and the head of compliance for the Retail Bank and Enterprise Services and led Capital One’s Privacy Compliance function. Prior to her tenure at Capital One, Kristen served as the enforcement director for the CFPB where she led the 145-person office responsible for the bureau’s enforcement of consumer financial protection law. In that role, Kristen developed and executed the bureau’s strategy to address markets and practices with the greatest potential for consumer harm and built coalitions with state and federal regulators to support coordinated enforcement activity. Kristen is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a juris doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.

Bonnie Latreille, FSA Ombudsman

Bonnie Latreille will serve as the third ombudsman in FSA’s history and the first to report directly to the chief operating officer. She joins FSA after serving in the office of the CFPB student loan ombudsman. In that role, she led the development of annual student loan ombudsman reports to Congress, oversaw high-level analysis about consumer complaints, and identified areas of improvement in the federal and private student loan markets. Her team’s work identifying consumer harm to borrowers pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness led Congress to dedicate $700 million in 2018 to create a limited opportunity for expanded relief for borrowers. Following five years at the CFPB, Bonnie co-founded the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and served as its director of research and advocacy. Bonnie holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and earned her juris doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Colleen McGinnis, Chief of Staff

Colleen McGinnis returns to the role of FSA’s chief of staff with deep knowledge about the office’s programs, products, services, and operations. In her more than 20 years in public service, Colleen has been FSA’s deputy chief operating officer for strategic measures and outcomes, director of policy implementation and oversight, acting chief performance officer, and a senior advisor to the chief operating officer. As chief of staff, Colleen will advise the chief operating officer about FSA’s business activities, provide critical historical expertise, and coordinate priority initiatives. Colleen holds a bachelor’s degree in language and international trade from Eastern Michigan University and obtained her juris doctor from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.

Stephanie Richo, Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer

Stephanie Richo most recently worked at the CFPB, where she held roles in executive-level administrative and overall bureau support. During her time at the CFPB, Stephanie served as special assistant to the acting director, director, chief of staff, and deputy chief of staff, as well as the assistant to the chief information officer and deputy chief information officer. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Iowa.