Education Secretary Announces Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

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Education Secretary Announces Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

February 4, 2009

WASHINGTON-Education Secretary Arne Duncan today praised President Barack Obama's intent to nominate Russlynn Ali as the assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education.

Duncan said, "Russlynn brings passion for, expertise in and dedication to equality and fairness in education, and her tireless work and commitment have changed the lives of low-income students from across the nation. I very much look forward to working with her."

Russlynn Ali is vice president of the Education Trust and founding director of the Education Trust-West, the West Coast partner of EdTrust. The Education Trust organizations work to promote high academic achievement for all students at all levels, with an emphasis on serving Latino, African American, Native American and low-income students. Ali has held senior positions at several other education-related organizations, including liaison to the president of the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C.; chief of staff to the president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education; and deputy co-director of Advancement Project. Ali attended Spelman College and graduated from American University with a bachelor's degree in law and society. She also holds a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. Ali practiced corporate and civil rights law and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California School of Law prior to her career in the non-profit sector.