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Education Dept. Names a New Key Player to Higher-Education Policy Team

Jamienne S. Studley, a former president of Skidmore College and a former top lawyer for the U.S. Department of Education, has been appointed as a deputy under secretary of education to help lead the department’s higher-education policy initiatives. Martha J. Kanter, the under secretary of education, announced the appointment on Friday in a letter to colleagues.

Ms. Studley, who served as the department’s deputy and acting general counsel during the Clinton administration, will join another recently appointed deputy under secretary, Jeff Appel, in coordinating the department’s work to carry out President Obama’s ambitious plan to improve college performance in areas of access, affordability, and accountability, Ms. Kanter said in the letter.

“Their responsibilities will include a strong focus on higher-education policy development and outreach,” she wrote. “They will also support research to deepen the evidence base to strengthen the nation’s postsecondary system, student experiences, and outcomes.”

Ms. Studley has held many positions within and related to higher education, most recently serving as president and chief executive of Public Advocates Inc., a nonprofit legal and advocacy organization that focuses on issues of poverty and racial discrimination. She has also served as chair of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the secretary of education on accreditation issues, for the past two years. She was appointed to the committee by the education secretary, Arne Duncan, in 2010.

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