WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced her intent to appoint Dr. A. Wayne Johnson as Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid (FSA). Dr. Johnson is a highly regarded leader with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and holds a Ph.D. in higher education leadership.
"Wayne is the right person to modernize FSA for the 21st Century,” said Secretary DeVos. “He actually wrote the book on student loan debt and will bring a unique combination of CEO-level operating skills and an in-depth understanding of the needs and issues associated with student loan borrowers and their families. He will be a tremendous asset to the Department as we move forward with a focus on how best to serve students and protect taxpayers."
Dr. Johnson’s research focus is in the area of student loan indebtedness decision-making and other issues related to student loans. As such, Secretary DeVos has charged Dr. Johnson with executing her vision to simplify and modernize the federal student aid process, treat students as valued customers who are afforded the protections and respect they deserve and ensure Federal tax dollars are spent wisely.
“I have a profound appreciation for and recognition of the critical role FSA plays in advancing educational attainment by students in our nation’s institutions of higher education,” said Dr. Johnson. “It is with a deep and sincere commitment to the millions of current and future Federal Student Aid clients that I look forward to accepting responsibility and accountability for the policies, actions and practices of FSA.”
FSA currently serves 42 million student loan borrowing clients and administers more than $1.4 trillion in current outstanding Federal Student Loan balances.
EXTENDED BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON DR. JOHNSON:
Dr. Johnson is the Founder, Chairman and former CEO of First Performance Corporation, a global payment card technology platform company. Dr. Johnson’s business experience includes working as a senior executive with TSYS, First Data, VISA, Deloitte and as Chief Executive Officer for companies in both the banking and information processing sectors. A native of Macon, Georgia, Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. and a Bachelor’s Degree from Mercer University, and an MBA from Emory University. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army.