U.S. Department of Education Announces More Biden-Harris Appointees
U.S. Department of Education Announces More Biden-Harris Appointees
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced more political appointees that will lead various parts of the agency. These diverse and accomplished individuals will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the agency, and work to quickly advance key education priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration.
Alice Abrokwa, Senior Counsel, Office for Civil Rights
Alice Abrokwa most recently served as a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, where she engaged in impact litigation on behalf of children and youth across the country. Prior to that position, Alice was a trial attorney with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and a Skadden Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where she represented D.C. students with mental health disabilities in special education matters. She began her career as a judicial law clerk and is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School.
Elizabeth Baer, Deputy Director of Scheduling, Office of the Secretary
Elizabeth attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 2017 with a political science degree. She spent the following two years in Chicago working for strategic communications advocacy firms. She returned to Iowa in the summer of 2019 to join Joe Biden's presidential campaign, working in the state's political shop. Over the course of the primary, she spent significant time in Des Moines, Las Vegas, and Philadelphia. She concluded her work with the campaign by serving as the general election Wisconsin Regional Political Director.
Larry Bowden, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary
Larry Bowden Jr. recently served in various roles on the Biden-Harris presidential campaign with the most recent being the Deputy Organizing Director of North Florida. Prior to joining the Biden campaign in Iowa, he worked on many campaigns across the country, including Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois gubernatorial campaign as a Regional Director. Larry earned his Bachelor of Science in political science from Florida A&M University.
Miriam Calderon, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
Miriam Calderon was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown in 2017 to serve as the early learning system director for the state of Oregon. She previously served in the Obama-Biden Administration advising on early learning policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Domestic Policy Council. Calderon has a diverse set of experience in the early childhood field in program, policy, and advocacy. She worked as the senior director for early childhood at the Bainum Family Foundation, as director of Early childhood education at the District of Columbia Public Schools, and as associate director for education policy at the National Council of La Raza (now UnidosUS). She began her career in early childhood working in Head Start. She is a native of Washington D.C., and holds degrees from the University of Delaware and Portland State University.
Cristina Flores, Director of Scheduling, Office of the Secretary
Cristina Flores returns to the federal government after having served for almost six years in various roles. She served as the public affairs officer for the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service; as associate director of Hispanic media under the Obama-Biden Administration; and as associate director of public affairs at the National Women's Business Council at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Most recently, she served as an associate manager on the U.S. Politics and Government Outreach team at Facebook. Since 2014, Cristina has served on President Biden's advance teams on domestic and international trips. Cristina graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Bridging Disciplines Human Rights and Social Justice Certificate. Cristina lives in Washington, D.C., however she will always call Weslaco, Texas, home.
Anna Hartge, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary
Anna Leach Hartge most recently served as the industry coach for U.S. politics, education, social impact, arts & communications at The George Washington University (GW) Center for Career Services. Prior to this, Anna worked as the career counselor in disability support services at GW and firmly believes in empowering individuals with disabilities. Anna started her career in the Obama-Biden U.S. Department of Education in the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership where she connected community groups, both faith-based and secular, to schools to promote student achievement. Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts in social studies for secondary education from Hope College and a master's in higher education administration from The George Washington University.
Rachel Hegarty, Confidential Assistant, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
Rachel Hegarty most recently served as a regional get out the vote director for the Democratic Party of Georgia. Prior to that she served as a regional organizing director for the Biden-Harris campaign in Florida and as a field organizer for the Biden for President campaign in Iowa. Prior to her campaign experience Rachel held internships at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Morris Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University.
Emily Lamont, Special Assistant, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Emily Huntress Lamont has over a decade of experience in political, domestic policy and innovative nonprofit and for-profit operations. Most recently, she worked on the Biden for President campaign as policy associate for Arizona. She also served as a program manager at 4-CT, a statewide COVID-19 relief fund. At 4-CT, Emily designed, developed and operated a direct financial assistance program for Connecticut's most vulnerable immigrant residents. Previously, she served as COO/CFO for the successful 2018 campaign for the governor of Connecticut. In addition, Emily was on the founding team of a successful venture studio and venture fund, and she spent years in healthcare policy consulting. She began her career in Beirut, Lebanon working on a USAID education project. She holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor's degree from Harvard University.
Kevin Lima, Special Assistant, Office of Communications and Outreach
Kevin Lima was the youth political director for the DNC. Kevin led youth engagement inside and outside of the DNC and helped build youth infrastructure to help Democrats win key races across the country while simultaneously developing a diverse leadership pipeline to strengthen the future of the Democratic party. Kevin has been a progressive political organizer since graduating with a political science degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 2016. He was an organizer for the Nevada State Coordinated Campaign in Las Vegas where he organized to elect the first Latina senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, and worked for NextGen America as their California campus and organizing director for the 2018 midterm.
Ben Martel, Confidential Assistant, Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs
Ben Martel joined the Biden for President primary campaign in August 2019, working in Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida. Ben went on to serve as a regional organizing director in Florida for the Biden-Harris general election campaign. Ben was also a regional GOTV director in Atlanta for the Georgia Senate runoff elections. A proud Marylander, Ben interned in the office of U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Ben graduated from Brown University in May 2019.
Clare McCann, Special Assistant, Office of the Under Secretary
Clare McCann most recently worked as the deputy director for federal policy in New America's Higher Education Program, where she conducted research and analysis on a range of postsecondary issues. She previously served as a senior policy advisor in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development.
Gypsy Moore, Senior Counsel, Office of the General Counsel
Gypsy Moore was most recently in-house legal counsel for the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit research and educational think tank, and its affiliate, the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Previously, Gypsy completed a civil rights law fellowship with the National Education Association. Prior to her fellowship, Gypsy was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP where her practice focused on litigation and government enforcement matters. Gypsy is a graduate of Cornell Law School and Yale University.
Keigo O'Haru, Confidential Assistant, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
In his most recent position, Keigo O'Haru served as an operations assistant on the Appointments Team on the Biden-Harris transition. Prior to the transition, Keigo was a member of the Biden-Harris general election and primary election serving as the national HQ volunteer coordinator. Keigo joined the campaign on June 3, 2019. Taking on various roles, he initially became the HQ internship / fellowship coordinator slating and onboarding the first wave of interns and fellows. Afterwards, he moved to his official role as volunteer coordinator, where he spearheaded the volunteer program and assisted national leadership departments in executing projects leading up to the general election. Entering the general election, Keigo participated in reestablishing the Biden Corps program and supported the battleground GOTV volunteer initiative. In the final days of the campaign, Keigo worked on the Pennsylvania Cure team. Prior to joining the Biden for President campaign, Keigo was a field staffer on Pam Iovino's successful special election for the 37th district in Pennsylvania. In that role, he managed the organizing program in the northern region of the district. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and currently resides in Chicago.
Elias Romanos, Special Assistant, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
Elias grew up in Los Angeles, California, and is a graduate of Emerson College with a B.S. in political communications. He began his career working on campaigns as a fellow with the Virginia Coordinated Campaign in 2017. Finding passion through service, Elias continued his work on campaigns with Iowa's 2018 coordinated campaign. In 2019 he became the field director for Virginia State Sen. Ghazala Hashmi's historic state senate campaign. After helping turn the Virginia Senate blue, Elias joined the Biden for President campaign in Iowa and was deployed to a number of states throughout the primary before joining the Arizona Coordinated Campaign as a regional field director. He is excited to put his passion for improving our country's education system to work.
Sebastian Rozo, Confidential Assistant, Office of the Under Secretary
Sebastian Rozo most recently served as the voter protection recruitment coordinator for the National Voter Assistance Hotline on the Biden-Harris campaign. Prior to that, he was the delegate coordinator on the Biden for President campaign. He started with the Biden campaign as a field organizer in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to joining the campaign, he worked with the field team on the New York state coordinated campaign. Rozo holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors from The State University of New York at Albany.
Marco Sanchez, Special Assistant, Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs
Marco Sanchez most recently served as a regional organizing director on the Democratic Party of Georgia for the 2020 general election and worked on the Biden for President campaign in Iowa as a field organizer. Prior to joining President Biden's campaign, Marco worked on Rep. David Trone's campaign. Additionally, he worked for the Close Up Foundation, where he taught civics to middle and high school students. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from American University. Marco is a proud first generation Mexican-American from San Diego, California.
Tiffany Taber, Managing Writer, Office of Communications and Outreach
Tiffany L. Taber is an experienced leader in the education, nonprofit, and government sectors, managing efforts to expand equity and opportunity and strengthen communities. Most recently, she worked at The Education Trust, a national education and civil rights nonprofit, where she led the organization's strategic planning efforts, served as a chief message strategist, and provided counsel to the executive team as senior adviser to the president and CEO and 10th U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. Prior to this role, Tiffany was chief of staff for communications development at the U.S. Department of Education, where she worked to set the vision for the agency's messaging and outreach, advised on elementary and secondary education policy, and served as a Cabinet-level speechwriter. Previously, Tiffany was a site director for a nonprofit tutoring program in Washington, D.C., and a high school English teacher with the Baltimore City Public Schools in Maryland. Tiffany holds a master's degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor's degree in English and certification in secondary education from Connecticut College.
Kalila Winters, Special Assistant, Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs
Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Kalila worked in the House of Representatives for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE) as the director of operations which included managing the congresswoman's diversity and inclusion portfolio. Prior to moving to D.C. at the end of 2016, Kalila served as a legislative paralegal for the City of Wilmington and various law firms, an adjunct professor and wellness advocate. She is a Delaware native and holds degrees from the University of Delaware and the Roberts School of Government at Regent University. She resides in Bowie, Maryland with her husband.
Addie Zinsner, Confidential Assistant, Office for Civil Rights
Addie Zinsner joins the Department after serving as assistant to the executive director on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, supporting the leadership team with its work planning and promoting inaugural events. Previously, she was a regional organizing director in Maricopa County for the 2020 Arizona Democratic Coordinated Campaign. She started her campaign work as a field organizer on the Biden Campaign in Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Illinois, and New York. Prior to the Biden-Harris campaign, Addie was a Virginia Governor's Fellow in the Secretariat of Administration. Addie holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Yale University. While at Yale, Addie was named a Yale Women in Government Fellow and is a graduate of the Women's Campaign School at Yale.