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Troy Justesen -- Department of Education
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education

Troy R. Justesen is the Department's assistant secretary for vocational and adult education. He was nominated to his post by President George W. Bush on May 8, 2006, and confirmed by the Senate on July 26, 2006. He serves as the principal adviser to Secretary Spellings on Departmental matters related to career, technical and adult education; high schools; lifelong learning; and community colleges as well as workforce and economic development. With reauthorization of the Perkins Act completed by Congress a week after his confirmation by the Senate, Justesen said the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is now focusing on implementing the reauthorized Perkins Act and, with the help of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, extending the principles of No Child Left Behind to the nation's high schools. Born in the ranching and coal-mining town of Orangeville, Utah, Justesen attended Emery County public schools and earned his associate degree in general science from the College of Eastern Utah in nearby Price before matriculating at Utah State University in Logan, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in education in 1989. He stayed on there to earn a master's degree in special education, which he completed in 1994. In 2001, he completed his doctorate in higher education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. In his first job after college, Justesen worked at Utah State University's University Affiliated Program and served in an appointed position in state government with the state of Utah. After a 1991 internship in Washington, D.C., he returned to Utah to finish his master's. From 1994 to 1997, he worked as an investigator enforcing civil rights laws for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In September 2000, he came to the Education Department to work as an education policy analyst in the Office of Special Education Programs—a unit of ED's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). A year later he was detailed to serve as the deputy executive director of the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education, which subsequently issued recommendations for the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). From 2002 through 2003, Justesen was detailed to and later joined the staff of the White House's Domestic Policy Council as the associate director for domestic policy, a post from which he helped implement the president's New Freedom Initiative to improve educational opportunities and employment prospects for the nation's 54 million Americans with disabilities. He also served as the associate director for Native American policy issues. In October 2003, he returned to ED as the deputy commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, one of three principal units within OSERS. At the same time, he also served as the acting deputy assistant secretary of OSERS. For 11 months in 2004, as President Bush nominated and awaited confirmation of a new assistant secretary, Justesen was also delegated the authority to perform the functions of the assistant secretary of OSERS. In March 2005, Justesen took on the additional responsibility of acting commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Two months later he was also named acting director of the Office of Special Education Programs, and, in June 2005, officially took the post of deputy assistant secretary of OSERS. Before departing for OVAE, he led a team that finished the final Part B IDEA regulations. Justesen has an identical twin brother, Tracy, who is the Department's assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. Justesen divides his time between a residence in Arlington, Va., and a second home in the San Rafael Swell near his hometown in Utah.

Troy Justesen
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