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Statement from Secretary Miguel Cardona on the Confirmation of James Kvaal as Under Secretary of Education

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued the following statement on the confirmation of James Kvaal as Under Secretary of Education:

“James Kvaal, the nation’s new Under Secretary of Education, has a deep understanding of the strengths, needs, and challenges in postsecondary education. This is critical at a time when increasing college access, affordability, and completion is key to helping America build back better. With this confirmation, the Biden Administration and the American people gain a dedicated and distinguished public servant with strong expertise in higher education who will always put students first.  James previously served as the president of the Institute for College Access and Success, where his work on higher education included initiatives to make college tuition more affordable, protect students from unaffordable loans, and help many more students graduate from college. Over the course of his career, he also has served in senior roles at the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and here at the U.S. Department of Education. James recognizes the life-changing power of higher education, and I am delighted to welcome him to the agency.”

About James Kvaal

James Kvaal formerly was president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a research and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to affordability and equity in higher education. TICAS is nationally recognized for its research and policy recommendations on student debt.

Kvaal served in the Obama Administration as the deputy domestic policy adviser at the White House and deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. He led efforts to cut student loan monthly payments, hold career colleges accountable for excessive debts, and make community colleges tuition-free. He helped organize the White House Summit on College Opportunity, which featured more than 100 college presidents and other leaders committing to actions to help more students graduate from college. He also has served in senior roles in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Kvaal taught at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, and graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

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