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Betsy DeVos Taps Two New Top Advisers

By Alyson Klein — September 26, 2017 2 min read
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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has tapped two new people to serve as top advisers: Michael Wooten, a deputy assistant secretary who will be acting as assistant secretary in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, and Leonard Haynes, who has the title of senior adviser and is likely to be a post-secondary education point person, if his resume is any guide.

Wooten most recently served as the deputy chief procurement officer for the District of Columbia. He also served in the United States Marine Corps for 20 years. And he was the chairman of the board of Northern Virginia Community College. Tim Kelly, a Republican who serves in the Michigan state legislature, had told a handful of media outlets in the Wolverine State that he expected to be tapped to head the office of career and technical education.

It’s unclear if Kelly is still expected to get the nod to take over the position permanently, or if Wooten—or someone else—will end up in the post. (Sources say the Trump administration wasn’t exactly thrilled that Kelly blabbed about his supposed new gig to reporters and may have pulled the plug on his appointment.)

Haynes is no stranger to government service. He served as the assistant secretary of post-secondary education and director of academic programs for the United States Information Agency during President George H.W. Bush’s administration. And in 2007, he served as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which was housed in the U.S. Department of Education. He continued to work at the department during the Obama years, serving as senior director of institutional services in the office of postsecondary education. Most recently, he’s served as a distinguished adjunct professor at Glenn College’s Washington Academic Internship program.

He’s also been on faculty at Howard University, the Ohio State University, the University of Maryland, Southern University, the Brookings Institution and George Washington University. And he worked as an assistant superintendent of academic programs at Louisiana’s state education department. More in this bio.

Staffing overall has been sluggish at DeVos’ department. Numerous key roles, such as the deputy secretary, the undersecretary, and the assistant secretaries of elementary and secondary education, civil rights, and planning evaluation and policy have still not filled on a permanent basis, more than six months into DeVos’ tenure.

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