McKeon Group has been closely monitoring appointments, nominations and other personnel changes in the Education and Workforce arena. Stay tuned in future editions as we catch up with some of these busy policymakers to get their views on their new roles and what we might expect to see in the future.
In the meantime, here’s a roundup of recent changes.
Rob Green has returned to the House Education and Workforce Committee as its new Workforce Policy Director, taking over from the longtime GOP workforce policy veteran, Ed Gilroy, who retired after 15 years of service on the committee.
Green previously worked for the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the National Retail Federation, and the National Restaurant Association. Prior to doing that, he had served on the workforce policy staff and staffer for several Members of Congress.
Over at the Education Department, Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs Peter Oppenheim still remain the only officials confirmed by the Senate but maybe not for too much longer.
Carlos Muniz, who the President put forward for the position of General Counsel back in early June, finally received a hearing from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on September 19, with two appointees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Muniz was introduced by his home state Senator Marco Rubio, who he had previously worked for Rubio in the Florida Legislature. At his hearing, Muniz fielded tough questions from Democratic Senators on questions ranging from ESSA implementation, Title IX enforcement, regulation of for-profit colleges, and the investigation of fraud complaints against Trump University in Florida.
The President also nominated James Blew to be Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Timothy Kelly to be Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and announced an intention to nominate retired Brigadier General Mitchell “Mick” Zais to be Deputy Secretary. Zais most recently served as state superintendent of education in South Carolina under former Governor Nicki Haley, and prior to that was president of Newberry College in South Carolina. He is a West Point graduate and served as an infantry officer for 31 years in the U.S. Army.
At the Labor Department, Secretary Alexander Acosta remains the only confirmed nominee. The Senate HELP Committee has held a hearing on Patrick Pizzella to be Deputy Secretary back in July, and is considering the nominations of David Zatezalo to be Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.