Federal File

February 28, 2001 1 min read

Waiting on Deck

President Bush plans to name William D. Hansen, a higher education lobbyist, to the No. 2 spot at the Department of Education and Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Eugene W. Hickok to the No. 3 slot, sources said last week.

While those selections have been widely discussed among Washington observers since mid-February, the White House had not made an official announcement as of press time last Friday. Lindsay Kozberg, the acting press secretary for Secretary of Education Rod Paige, said the administration would not comment on any appointments until they are official.

As the apparent choice for deputy secretary of education, the second-ranking position in the department, Mr. Hansen would likely oversee the day-to-day operations of the agency and advise Mr. Paige on policy matters.

Mr. Hansen served as the Education Department’s assistant secretary for management and budget and chief financial officer during the first Bush administration. Some observers noted that that experience could prove useful to Mr. Paige, the former superintendent of schools in Houston, who has never before worked in the federal government.

Since 1993, Mr. Hansen has been the executive director of the Education Finance Council, a Washington group that lobbies for student-loan lenders. He is also serving on the Bush transition team.

Mr. Hickok, who helped found the Education Leaders Council, an organization of mostly conservative state school officials, is expected to be named the undersecretary of education, a post that is mainly involved in policy and strategic-planning activities. A well-known advocate for such measures as block grants for federal education aid, Mr. Hickok is currently advising the transition team.

The department is reportedly realigning responsibilities to make the No. 3 job more palatable to Mr. Hickok, who originally wanted the deputy’s job, sources say.

—Joetta L. Sack

A version of this article appeared in the February 28, 2001 edition of Education Week