The Department of Education officially has a new deputy secretary, as well as an announced selection for its top congressional-affairs job, as President Bush continues piecing together his education team.
William D. Hansen, 42, a higher education lobbyist and former Education Department official, was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the agency’s second-in-command May 24. He will handle day-to-day management and advise Secretary Rod Paige on policy.
And the White House announced last week that the president would nominate Becky Campoverde, 50, a staff member for the House Education and the Workforce Committee, to become the assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs.
Ms. Campoverde, for months rumored to be the top contender, is also an Education Department veteran. She served in various positions, including deputy chief of staff, from 1986 to 1993. She has worked for the Republicans on the House education committee for the past 21/2 years, most recently as the deputy chief of staff.
As of late last week, eight of the Education Department’s 15 top officials had been announced, nominated, or confirmed—an accounting that does not include the inspector general, an appointee of President Clinton’s with an open-ended term.
The Brookings Institution, which has been keeping track of the appointments process in the Bush administration, reported last week that of the 492 presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation, 116 people had been confirmed. Another 32 had been nominated, and 16 more had been announced by the White House, the Washington think tank reported. Each selection must undergo an extensive and time-consuming background check before official nomination.
The change of power in the Senate—with the Democrats set to take charge after members return this week from a holiday recess—may further complicate matters. Democrats may try to slow down or block some nominations, and the Senate may not work on any confirmations for the next few weeks as it irons out the details of the power shift.
The Clinton administration did not have its top agency appointees in place until October 1993, at the time considered a slow start. Now, some predict Mr. Bush will not have his entire team in place until early next year.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2001 edition of Education Week as Bush Team’s Progress: Hansen on Job, Campoverde Named