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Obama Announces Three Assistant Secretary Nominations for the Ed. Dept.

By Andrew Ujifusa — April 07, 2016 1 min read

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., may not be the only person to drop the “acting” from his title this year. President Barack Obama announced plans on Thursday to nominate three current staffers in “acting” roles at the U.S. Department of Education to be assistant secretaries.

Obama announced that he is nominating Matthew Lehrich to be the assistant secretary for communications and outreach at the department; Amy McIntosh to be assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development; and Ann Whalen to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles. I look forward to working with them,” Obama said in a statement.

Here’s a bit more about each of them:


  • Lehrich has been the communications director at the department since February, and previously served as a strategic advisor for communications at the department. He’s also served as an assistant press secretary for the White House from 2011 to 2014, and held two other communications positions there from 2009 to 2011. From 2007 to 2008, Lehrich also worked in communications roles for Obama’s presidential campaign.
  • McIntosh is currently the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, who’s delegated the duties of the assistant secretary for the office of planning, evaluation and policy Development. Previously, she worked on teacher evaluations for the New York state education department.
  • Whalen is now a senior advisor to the Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., who is delegated the duties of the assistant secretary for the office of elementary and secondary education. During a previous tenure at the Education Department, Whalen played a key role overseeing the implementation of the Race to the Top grant program before briefly leaving to work at Education Post, a K-12-oriented communications firm, in 2014. She returned to the department last year.

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