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Betsy DeVos Named Secretary of Education

According to news reports, President-elect Donald Trump today named Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. As a result of the limited discussion of higher education issues during the campaign, many observers have felt that Mr. Trump’s approach to higher education would be largely dependent on his selection of the person to lead the Department of Education.

However, Ms. DeVos’s background in education policy appears to be primarily that of a supporter for school choice – an issue of importance to K-12 schools and their advocates.  Consequently, those interested in higher education matters will most likely be required to wait until the under secretary of education is appointed to replace Ted Mitchell.  Mr. Mitchell has had primary responsibility for a variety of postsecondary education programs during the Obama administration.  If the organizational structure of the Department remains the same in the Trump administration as in the Obama administration, it will be Mr. Mitchell’s successor who will be of primary interest to the leaders of colleges and universities.

© Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 328


About this Author

Jim Newberry, Government Relations, Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm

Jim Newberry focuses his practice in the areas of higher education, government relations, and regulatory matters.  He recently served as Mayor of Lexington and has extensive leadership experience in the equine industry, legal service industry, state government and higher education.  Mr. Newberry is leader of the firm's Higher Education Team and serves as the Managing Member of the firm's Louisville, Kentucky office.

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