From Alexa Posny, the assistant secretary for the federal Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:
I am pleased to announce that starting in mid-August, Ms. Sue Swenson will begin her duties as OSERS Deputy Assistant Secretary and Ms. Melody Musgrove will become the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Sue, who resides in Bethesda, MD, runs her own company which specializes in management, payment technologies and social entrepreneurship to support people with disabilities and their families. Formerly the Executive Director of the Arc of the United States and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, as well as the Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), Sue brings a wealth of experience in disability-related issues including family support, inclusion, and transition to name a few. Melody, who will be moving to the DC area from Mississippi, is currently the Director of Business Development with LRP Publications. Formerly, she was the State Director of Special Education in Mississippi, a due process hearing officer, an Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Federal Programs for the Lawrence County School District, an assistant principal, and a special education teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Melody has been noted for her work to reduce the achievement gap for traditionally underperforming students, conducted statewide self-assessments, and designed and implemented a focused system of monitoring local districts.
I interviewed Sue in 2008 for an article on how specific disabilities like autism were gaining in media attention, to the potential detriment of bringing together advocates to work on disabilities as a common cause. I remember thinking at the time that I should hold on to her because she was such a good source. Hope we’ll still be able to chat some time, Sue!
I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with Melody Musgrove, but as a nosy reporter, I like that she has a background with LRP Publications, which produces newsletters and professional development seminars in special education and other fields. Hopefully that means great interviews in the future.
Welcome to D.C., Melody, and welcome back to government work, Sue!
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.