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Appointee Directory

Kerri Briggs -- Department of Education
Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Kerri L. Briggs is assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. She was nominated by President Bush on March 6, 2007, and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 22, 2007. As assistant secretary, Briggs plays a pivotal role in policy and management issues affecting elementary and secondary education. She directs, coordinates and recommends policy for programs designed to assist state and local education agencies with: improving the achievement of elementary and secondary school students; helping ensure equal access to services leading to such improvement for all children, particularly children who are economically disadvantaged; fostering educational improvement at the state and local levels; and providing financial assistance to local education agencies whose local revenues are affected by federal activities. Briggs had served as acting assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development from Sept. 1, 2006, through January 2007. Before that, Briggs had served for one year as senior policy adviser in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, where she worked on K-12 policy and regulations pertaining to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In 2001, she joined the Department as a senior policy adviser in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, working for four years on the review and approval of state accountability plans for NCLB. She also helped write the original regulations and nonregulatory guidance for implementation of the law's accountability, assessment, flexibility and teacher quality provisions. A native of Midland, Texas, Briggs moved as a young girl with her family to Houston, where she attended public schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1989, and she did her postgraduate work at the University of Southern California, where she earned a master's and, later, a Ph.D. in education policy and organizational studies. Briggs came to the Department after working for two years at the University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts in Austin, where she served as a research associate and as the director of evaluation. The author of many articles on reading, charter schools and school-based management, Briggs was the co-editor of the 2003 book Reading in the Classroom: Systems for Observation of Teaching and Learning published by the P.H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md. Briggs is currently the chair of the Junior League of Washington: Literacy Partnerships committee, of which she also served as vice chair from June 2005 through July 2006. She is also a board member for the Aged Women's Home of Georgetown.

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