President Donald Trump has tapped his first political appointee for the U.S. Department of Education: Carlos Muñiz, who will serve as the agency’s general counsel, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The position would give him a key role in overseeing legal matters at the agency.
Muñiz, who was most recently a senior vice president at the consulting firm McGuire Woods, was the deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general and a Trump ally.
Before that, he was deputy general counsel under former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The Trump administration’s “beach head team” of early arrivals at the department includes a handful of alumni from Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. And DeVos herself served on the nonprofit’s board before she was nominated as education secretary.
The “experience” section of Muñiz‘s McGuire Woods bio flags some education work: He defended a Florida public university in a government investigation and civil litigation over Title IX compliance issues. Title IX generally governs how public schools and universities deal with gender equity.
Another new face at the department is reportedly Candice E. Jackson, an attorney in Vancouver, Wash., who will serve as acting assistant secretary for civil rights, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story. Jackson, on behalf of the Trump presidential campaign last year, organized public events highlighting women who said they were the victims of sexual misconduct by President Bill Clinton, as well as a woman who as a 12-year-old accused a man of raping her—this man was subsequently represented by Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival for the presidency.
Jackson announced on her personal website that she had taken a job at the department. And a March 23 newsletter from Pepperdine University law school said that in addition to her role as acting secretary, she would serve as deputy secretary for human rights at the department.