Published Online: January 27, 1999
Published in Print: January 27, 1999, as Federal File

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Real estate tycoon

Maybe there is money in education after all.

A Department of Education official handed over the deed to the most expensive residential property sold in the Washington area last year, according to Washingtonian magazine.

Donald M. Feuerstein recently sold his Georgian-style mansion in Potomac, Md., a ritzy suburb, for $4,698,850, according to the magazine. The monthly publishes a column on who's buying and selling the priciest homes in the greater Washington area. The buyer was a telecommunications executive.

Mr. Feuerstein is a senior adviser to acting Deputy Secretary of Education Marshall S. Smith. He reports to the department on financial issues such as student aid and the "E-rate" discount on Internet services for schools and libraries, and helped craft President Clinton's unsuccessful proposal for federally subsidized school construction bonds last year.

Mr. Feuerstein donates his current salary--about $50,000 a year for the full-time job--to his alma mater, Harvard University. The money helps support a project run by the university's graduate school of education to recruit urban superintendents, as well as a student-loan-forgiveness program in the law school. "I chose those [programs] because I think the urban problem is significant," Mr. Feuerstein said in an interview. In addition, he said, he wants to give law students "the same opportunities I had." He received his law degree from Harvard in 1962.

Before coming to the Education Department as a political appointee five years ago, Mr. Feuerstein was an executive vice president at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment-banking firm. That might better explain the expensive home.

New inspector general

Another Harvard law school graduate, Lorraine Pratt Lewis, will be nominated as inspector general of the Education Department, President Clinton announced this month.

Ms. Lewis is currently the general counsel for the White House Office of Personnel Management, and has served as general counsel to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. In addition to her Harvard credentials, she has a bachelor's degree from Yale University.

The inspector general aims to promote efficiency and prevent fraud by investigating and auditing Education Department activities.

--Joetta L. Sack federal@epe.org

Vol. 18, Issue 20, Page 17

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