Secretary Duncan Announces Five New Members of His Leadership Team

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Secretary Duncan Announces Five New Members of His Leadership Team

July 28, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced five new members to his leadership team. Each brings valuable skills and experience in their fields to different offices within the Department of Education.

"I am proud to welcome five individuals with diverse experience and expertise from the private and public sectors," Duncan said. "They will make valuable contributions to the department as it drives a strong reform agenda, and provides unprecedented resources to states and school districts."

  • Michael Roark, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of the Deputy Secretary
    Roark will join the department after he concludes his work as the chief financial officer for AOL Europe. Based in London, he led a broad range of functions across multiple countries, including finance and accounting, strategic and operational planning, and business intelligence. He also led change initiatives to centralize and make profitable European operations. Roark started at AOL as director of its operational effectiveness program in 2006 in northern Virginia, identifying and delivering opportunities to increase advertising revenue, grow audience and reduce expenses. For the decade prior to joining AOL, Roark was the chief financial and administrative officer for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a museum and art college in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. In the early 1990s, he worked on Capitol Hill for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and with the American Association of Museums. Roark has an MBA from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.

  • Jacqueline Jones, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning, Office of The Secretary
    Jones joins the department from the New Jersey State Department of Education where she served as assistant commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education. Prior to state government, Jones worked for 16 years at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) as a senior research scientist and director of early childhood research and development. Jones also has been a visiting associate professor at Harvard University and a visiting scholar for the National Assessment of Educational Progress at ETS. Jones has directed numerous federally- and foundation-funded projects on early childhood learning. She has many published writings and conference presentations on the topic and has lectured extensively on the subject. Jones earned her doctorate and master's degrees in communication science and disorders from Northwestern University, and has a Bachelor of Arts in speech pathology from Hunter College.

  • Katherine Tobin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Performance Improvement, Office of Management
    Katherine Tobin comes to the Department of Education having served three years as a governor of the U.S. Postal Service, appointed by the president in 2006. In that role, she provided strategic vision to its executive team, helped direct and control expenditures, review business practices, conduct long-range planning, and set policies on all postal matters. Tobin also chaired the board's Audit & Finance Committee. Tobin has 18 years of experience in education, having served as a college and university administrator, a member of university and college faculties, and a trained social scientist, leading research teams at organizations such as Catalyst, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women in business. She also worked as a manager and social scientist at Hewlett-Packard and IBM and created and ran her own company for four years. Tobin earned a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree from Stanford University's School of Education. She earned a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Massachusetts' School of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors from Skidmore College.

  • Emma Vadehra, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
    Vadehra comes to the department from U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy's office, where she served as senior education counsel for the senator and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. She provided counsel to both on K-12 and postsecondary education, and national service issues. Previously, she worked with Uncommon Schools, a charter management organization that starts and manages urban charter schools. She has a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts dual degree in public policy and education policy from Brown University.

  • Nia Phillips, Deputy General Counsel for Departmental And Legislative Services, Office Of The General Counsel
    Phillips comes to the department after serving as then-Sen. Barack Obama's deputy political director and constituency director for Georgia in the 2008 general election, and working as the constituency director for Jim Martin's U.S. Senate bid in Georgia. Prior to that, she taught first grade for three years at a Brooklyn, N.Y., public school. Between 2002-2004, she provided legal counsel to Viacom Inc., in New York, after serving as a corporate associate for the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College in 1994, and then worked in several positions in the national tour of the Johnson Publishing Company's Ebony Fashion Fair for two years. She earned a J.D. from New York University Law School in 1999 and a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College in 2008. Phillips also brings valuable experience from her internships with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, former U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums' office, and the Joint Center for Political Studies.