Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) responsibilities cover adult, post-secondary, rural, and vocational education. Its staff creates, manages, and administers policies, programs, and grants; commissions studies; and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Education, Congress, the President, and the public on how to bring about potential improvements in the quality of education and educational services.

more
History:

The U.S. government has been involved with Adult Education, in varying degrees, for more than 200 years. But a great deal of the government oversight of the arena over that time was delegated to the states. After the Health, Education and Welfare Department was established in 1953, a federal office devoted both to adult and vocational education came into fruition. It was called the Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education. After the Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) created the Department of Education, that office became a subdivision of the Department of Education, and was renamed the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). During its early years of operation, OVAE’s responsibilities included civics and correctional education.

 

Federal funding in support of career and technical education has taken a hit in recent years, with a 20% reduction in FY 2012 and, in the event of January 2014 sequestration cuts, a loss of $158 million in appropriations, affecting more than 1.6 million students. According to the OVAE, a third of all college students participate in career and technical programs, and as many as 40 million adults engage in short-term postsecondary occupational training. Additionally, 90% of students who focus on career-oriented courses graduate in four or five years, compared with 75% of general high school students. Consequently, advocates of vocational training view it as an important means of keeping kids in school. Beyond those statistics, 27% of vocational education graduates earn more in the work place than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

 

The OVAE supports reform of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which has funded career and technical education in FY 2012 to the tune of $1.14 billion.

 

more
What it Does:

The four general areas encompassed within the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) are:

 

The OVAE handles a variety of programs and services within each of the divisions: creating and carrying out policies aiming to help adults increase their literacy skills; raise achievement levels; receive equal access to vocational and adult education; be part of a unified national approach to learning. It also runs research, study, and technology centers to identify areas and programs succeeding and/or lacking, and to provide information and services that help implement the methodology of their policies, and change with the times. Additionally, the Under Secretary, who oversees OVAE, is responsible for helping carry out the Action Plan of the Secretary of Education, which focuses on higher education, how to improve it, how to make it more broadly available and how to raise achievement levels. And that piggybacks with OVAE’s involvement with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, for which it creates a Fact Sheet series, highlighting what specifically they’re accomplishing, regarding increasing accountability and academic achievement, and then focusing on guiding and supporting involved states on how best to plan, review, revise, and implement the standards in the NCLB Act.

 

OVAE programs and initiatives include the following:

 

Adult Basic Education to Community College Transitions Symposium  (OVAE Proceedings Report) (pdf)

 

From the Web Site of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education

Adult Education and Literacy

Adult Education Facts at a Glance

Adult Education Related Links

Career and Technical Education

Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006

Community College Related Links

Community Colleges

Contact Information

Discrimination Complaint Submissions

English Literacy

Fact Sheets

Fraud Prevention: Inspector General Hotline

Meetings and Events

News

Newsletter

Programs and Initiatives

Projects

Reports to Congress

Rural Education Achievement Program Coordinators - Contact information, by state

Speeches, Articles and Presentations

Technology and Distance Learning

Topics

 

Related Links:

Community Partnership for Adult Learning

Guide to works pertaining to OVAE (WorldCat Identities)

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Stakeholders include administrators, employment agencies and Web sites, hiring businesses, minorities, parents, politicians, social service agencies, students, teachers, those in lower-income brackets, those for whom English is not a first language, and those who are handicapped.

 

In terms of contractor expenditures, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) has spent more than $9.8 million on 25 transactions between FY 2002 and FY 2012, according to USAspending.gov. The top five products or services purchased were educational studies and analyses ($6,661,841), educational services ($1,588,448), administrative support ($1,282,897), IT and telecom computer-aided design and manufacturing ($231,788), and technical assistance ($89,937). The top five recipients of this contractor spending during that period were:

 

1. Education Northwest                                                                      $4,144,876     

2. MPR Associates Inc.                                                                      $3,311,778     

3. Nova Research Company                                                               $1,282,897     

4. American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences           $763,526     

5. ActioNet Inc.                                                                                     $256,788

 

Technical Education Cuts Are Dangerous (by Joseph DiSalvo, San Jose Inside)

more
Controversies:

Loan Company Allowed to Keep Overpayments

In January 2007, Sara Martinez Tucker, then-Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, announced a decision to allow the student loan company, Nelnet, to keep $278 million in overpayments that Department of Education auditors had declared improper. Then it became a troubling topic of discussion that she had ties to Nelnet, through her years at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). It also brought to new light the fact that HSF was known as a philanthropic organization when she began there, and was a huge fund-raising organization by the time she left. As a result, her decision regarding the Nelnet overpayment came under fire from some members of Congress and outside education organizations. But the Department of Education defended her integrity, and said if they attempted to recover the funds from Nelnet they might have to go after other lenders, and then potentially eliminate some borrowing options students now have.

Roundup: Coverage of the Nelnet Settlement (blog, Higher Ed Watch) 

more
Suggested Reforms:

Reauthorization of Perkins Act

The Obama administration in 2012 announced a plan for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which aimed to increase the quality of technical education by providing federal funding.

 

Contained in the report, “Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education,” the plan focused making numerous educational reforms, primarily pertaining to two-year colleges and technical education programs.

 

One reform sought to create more competition in distributing Perkins funding within states.

 

A second reform called for common participation and performance indicators to allow for the evaluation and assessment of programs “in a standard and clear way,” according to the U.S. Department of Education, in the hopes of ensuring program improvements.

 

A third reform introduced performance-based funding to “reward local consortia that demonstrate success in improving student outcomes and closing equity gaps,” the department stated.

Secretary of Education Unveils Blueprint to Reform Nation’s Vocational Education System (by James Swift, Youth Today)

Investing in America’s Future A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education (U.S. Department of Education)

OVAE Connection May 24, 2012 (U.S. Department of Education)

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Perkins Reauthorization Blueprint Discussion of State-Level Implications (CTE)

Perkins Legislation (Schargel Consulting Group)

S. 3295 (112th): Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Govtrack.us)

more
Former Directors:

Troy Justesen                        July 2006 – January 2009

Troy R. Justesen, was nominated for the position of Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education by President George W. Bush in May 2006, and confirmed by the Senate in July 2006. He served until Bush left office January 20, 2009.

 

Justesen was born in Orangeville, Utah, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1989 at Utah State University, in Logan. He began work at the University’s Affiliated Program, and then held an appointed position in the Utah State government, followed by a 1991 internship in Washington D.C. After that, he returned to his alma mater to receive a master’s degree in Special Education in 1994. Then he worked as a Civil Rights investigator and enforcer for the U.S. Department of Justice until September 2000, when he began the job of an Education Policy Analyst in the Office of Special Education Programs, a unit of the Department of Education’s Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

 

In 2001, he completed his Doctorate in Higher Education at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and next went to work at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council as Associate Director for Domestic Policy, where he helped implement the president’s New Freedom Initiative to improve educational opportunities and employment prospects for Americans with disabilities, and also served as Associate Director for Native American policy issues.

 

In 2003 he returned to the Department of Education as the Deputy Commissioner of the Rehabilitative Services Administration, one of three units within OSERS. At the same time he also served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSERS. For 11 months in 2004, while the division awaited confirmation of a new Assistant Secretary, he was delegated the authority to perform the functions of that position, and in March 2005 he took on the added 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. In June 2005, he officially took the post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSERS, where he remained until he came to OVAE. His identical twin brother, Tracy, is the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. Troy Justesen donated $324 to the Republican National Committee in 2004.

 

After leaving the Department of Education, Justesen took a job as development vice president at Salt Lake Community College.

 

'If I Can, You Can,' U.S. Official Informs Graduates at CEU (by Suzanne Dean, Deseret Morning News)

Biography (AllGov)

 

 

Beto Gonzalez (Acting Assistant Secretary)             2005 – 2006

Official Biography (U.S. Department of Education)

 

 

Susan Sclafani                                   2003 - 2005

Biography (The Harris Foundation)

 

 

Patricia McNeil                                  Including the years 1997 - 2001

 

more

Comments

Donna Price 6 years ago
this message is for assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, dr. brenda dann-messier. i was so inspired by her keynote speech on nov. 14, 2011 at the national conference on effective transitions in adult education in rhode island. unfortunately i had to leave early to catch a flight back to san diego to teach my class. i would love to have a copy of her speech. thank you. donna price san diego community college
N Kyle 7 years ago
my schooling which included eleven different schools including four high schools. no i did not get kicked out. all of my elementary education was in a one room rural school where teachers taught eight grades--about 40 classes a day. high schools offered vocational subjects for children who knew they could not afford college or did not want to go to college. so, we had printers, carpenters, plumbers, auto mechanics, electricians etc. now we have a surplus of college grads having t...

Leave a comment

Founded: The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) was set up in 1979 after the passage of the Department of Education Organization Act.
Annual Budget: $1.737 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: Approximately 100
Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education
Uvin, Johan
Previous Acting Assistant Secretary

Johan Uvin, a long-time advocate for adult education, accepted the top post of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education in May 2014.

 

Uvin is from the Netherlands. He earned a secondary teaching credential in language arts and history in Belgium in 1979, and coordinated education programs in Sierra Leone and Belgium before coming to the United States. In 1988 at the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, he earned a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Uvin later went to Harvard, earning a master’s in international education in 1999 and an Ed.D in administration, planning and social policy in 2003.

 

In the 1990s, Uvin supervised adult basic educational development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specializing in teaching English to hospitality and healthcare workers. He went to work for the Commonwealth Corp. in 2000, first as a workplace learning specialist and the following year as a vice president. There, he secured grants and conducted studies on how those in workforce development programs fared on the job.

 

Uvin went to work for the state of Rhode Island in 2005, first as its director of adult education and, in 2008, as director of the Office of Adult, Career and Technical Education.

 

He joined the federal Department of Education in 2009 as a senior policy adviser to Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier. In 2011, Uvin was named deputy assistant secretary for policy and strategic initiatives, and the following year he took on the duties of acting director for policy research and evaluation services.

 

Uvin’s wife, Alison Simmons, also works in adult education. They have twin adult sons.

 

Uvin speaks Dutch, English and French.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

more
Dann-Messier, Brenda
Former Assistant Secretary

As the Assistant Secretary of Vocational and Adult Education in the U.S. Department of Education, Brenda Dann-Messier brings an extensive background in the field of adult education to her new job of overseeing community colleges, adult education and technical education across the country. She was confirmed by the Seantae October 5, 2009.

 
Born on April 18, 1949, Dann-Messier and her two brothers were raised by their Jewish parents, Frank Dann and Germana Carpi-Dann, who fled Nazi Germany and Italy in the late 1930s and settled in Warwick, Rhode Island. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Rhode Island College in 1973. Her graduate studies took place at Rhode Island’s Johnson and Wales University, where she received her Master of Education in 1974 and her doctorate in educational leadership in 2000.
 
Dann-Messier directed two federal TRIO programs, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center (1987-1993) and the Educational Talent Search Program (1991-1993) of the Community College of Rhode Island.
 
In 1993, she was invited to join the Clinton administration’s Education Department as the regional representative for Region I in Boston under then-Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
Three years later, she left Washington to work at the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University.
 
Dann-Messier became president of Dorcas Place, an Adult and Family Learning Center in Providence, RI, in 1999, where she remained until being appointed by President Barack Obama to run the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
 
Her professional affiliations include serving as a member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and chairing the Academic and Student Affairs Committee for the board.
 
Dann-Messier’s husband, Daniel Messier, is a retired teacher.
 
Brenda Dann-Messier (WhoRunsGov.com)
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) responsibilities cover adult, post-secondary, rural, and vocational education. Its staff creates, manages, and administers policies, programs, and grants; commissions studies; and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Education, Congress, the President, and the public on how to bring about potential improvements in the quality of education and educational services.

more
History:

The U.S. government has been involved with Adult Education, in varying degrees, for more than 200 years. But a great deal of the government oversight of the arena over that time was delegated to the states. After the Health, Education and Welfare Department was established in 1953, a federal office devoted both to adult and vocational education came into fruition. It was called the Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education. After the Organization Act (Public Law 96-88) created the Department of Education, that office became a subdivision of the Department of Education, and was renamed the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE). During its early years of operation, OVAE’s responsibilities included civics and correctional education.

 

Federal funding in support of career and technical education has taken a hit in recent years, with a 20% reduction in FY 2012 and, in the event of January 2014 sequestration cuts, a loss of $158 million in appropriations, affecting more than 1.6 million students. According to the OVAE, a third of all college students participate in career and technical programs, and as many as 40 million adults engage in short-term postsecondary occupational training. Additionally, 90% of students who focus on career-oriented courses graduate in four or five years, compared with 75% of general high school students. Consequently, advocates of vocational training view it as an important means of keeping kids in school. Beyond those statistics, 27% of vocational education graduates earn more in the work place than those with bachelor’s degrees, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

 

The OVAE supports reform of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which has funded career and technical education in FY 2012 to the tune of $1.14 billion.

 

more
What it Does:

The four general areas encompassed within the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) are:

 

The OVAE handles a variety of programs and services within each of the divisions: creating and carrying out policies aiming to help adults increase their literacy skills; raise achievement levels; receive equal access to vocational and adult education; be part of a unified national approach to learning. It also runs research, study, and technology centers to identify areas and programs succeeding and/or lacking, and to provide information and services that help implement the methodology of their policies, and change with the times. Additionally, the Under Secretary, who oversees OVAE, is responsible for helping carry out the Action Plan of the Secretary of Education, which focuses on higher education, how to improve it, how to make it more broadly available and how to raise achievement levels. And that piggybacks with OVAE’s involvement with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, for which it creates a Fact Sheet series, highlighting what specifically they’re accomplishing, regarding increasing accountability and academic achievement, and then focusing on guiding and supporting involved states on how best to plan, review, revise, and implement the standards in the NCLB Act.

 

OVAE programs and initiatives include the following:

 

Adult Basic Education to Community College Transitions Symposium  (OVAE Proceedings Report) (pdf)

 

From the Web Site of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education

Adult Education and Literacy

Adult Education Facts at a Glance

Adult Education Related Links

Career and Technical Education

Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006

Community College Related Links

Community Colleges

Contact Information

Discrimination Complaint Submissions

English Literacy

Fact Sheets

Fraud Prevention: Inspector General Hotline

Meetings and Events

News

Newsletter

Programs and Initiatives

Projects

Reports to Congress

Rural Education Achievement Program Coordinators - Contact information, by state

Speeches, Articles and Presentations

Technology and Distance Learning

Topics

 

Related Links:

Community Partnership for Adult Learning

Guide to works pertaining to OVAE (WorldCat Identities)

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Stakeholders include administrators, employment agencies and Web sites, hiring businesses, minorities, parents, politicians, social service agencies, students, teachers, those in lower-income brackets, those for whom English is not a first language, and those who are handicapped.

 

In terms of contractor expenditures, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) has spent more than $9.8 million on 25 transactions between FY 2002 and FY 2012, according to USAspending.gov. The top five products or services purchased were educational studies and analyses ($6,661,841), educational services ($1,588,448), administrative support ($1,282,897), IT and telecom computer-aided design and manufacturing ($231,788), and technical assistance ($89,937). The top five recipients of this contractor spending during that period were:

 

1. Education Northwest                                                                      $4,144,876     

2. MPR Associates Inc.                                                                      $3,311,778     

3. Nova Research Company                                                               $1,282,897     

4. American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences           $763,526     

5. ActioNet Inc.                                                                                     $256,788

 

Technical Education Cuts Are Dangerous (by Joseph DiSalvo, San Jose Inside)

more
Controversies:

Loan Company Allowed to Keep Overpayments

In January 2007, Sara Martinez Tucker, then-Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, announced a decision to allow the student loan company, Nelnet, to keep $278 million in overpayments that Department of Education auditors had declared improper. Then it became a troubling topic of discussion that she had ties to Nelnet, through her years at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). It also brought to new light the fact that HSF was known as a philanthropic organization when she began there, and was a huge fund-raising organization by the time she left. As a result, her decision regarding the Nelnet overpayment came under fire from some members of Congress and outside education organizations. But the Department of Education defended her integrity, and said if they attempted to recover the funds from Nelnet they might have to go after other lenders, and then potentially eliminate some borrowing options students now have.

Roundup: Coverage of the Nelnet Settlement (blog, Higher Ed Watch) 

more
Suggested Reforms:

Reauthorization of Perkins Act

The Obama administration in 2012 announced a plan for reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, which aimed to increase the quality of technical education by providing federal funding.

 

Contained in the report, “Investing in America’s Future: A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education,” the plan focused making numerous educational reforms, primarily pertaining to two-year colleges and technical education programs.

 

One reform sought to create more competition in distributing Perkins funding within states.

 

A second reform called for common participation and performance indicators to allow for the evaluation and assessment of programs “in a standard and clear way,” according to the U.S. Department of Education, in the hopes of ensuring program improvements.

 

A third reform introduced performance-based funding to “reward local consortia that demonstrate success in improving student outcomes and closing equity gaps,” the department stated.

Secretary of Education Unveils Blueprint to Reform Nation’s Vocational Education System (by James Swift, Youth Today)

Investing in America’s Future A Blueprint for Transforming Career and Technical Education (U.S. Department of Education)

OVAE Connection May 24, 2012 (U.S. Department of Education)

Career Clusters™ Institute Recap: Perkins Reauthorization Blueprint Discussion of State-Level Implications (CTE)

Perkins Legislation (Schargel Consulting Group)

S. 3295 (112th): Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Govtrack.us)

more
Former Directors:

Troy Justesen                        July 2006 – January 2009

Troy R. Justesen, was nominated for the position of Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education by President George W. Bush in May 2006, and confirmed by the Senate in July 2006. He served until Bush left office January 20, 2009.

 

Justesen was born in Orangeville, Utah, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1989 at Utah State University, in Logan. He began work at the University’s Affiliated Program, and then held an appointed position in the Utah State government, followed by a 1991 internship in Washington D.C. After that, he returned to his alma mater to receive a master’s degree in Special Education in 1994. Then he worked as a Civil Rights investigator and enforcer for the U.S. Department of Justice until September 2000, when he began the job of an Education Policy Analyst in the Office of Special Education Programs, a unit of the Department of Education’s Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

 

In 2001, he completed his Doctorate in Higher Education at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and next went to work at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council as Associate Director for Domestic Policy, where he helped implement the president’s New Freedom Initiative to improve educational opportunities and employment prospects for Americans with disabilities, and also served as Associate Director for Native American policy issues.

 

In 2003 he returned to the Department of Education as the Deputy Commissioner of the Rehabilitative Services Administration, one of three units within OSERS. At the same time he also served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSERS. For 11 months in 2004, while the division awaited confirmation of a new Assistant Secretary, he was delegated the authority to perform the functions of that position, and in March 2005 he took on the added 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. In June 2005, he officially took the post of Deputy Assistant Secretary of OSERS, where he remained until he came to OVAE. His identical twin brother, Tracy, is the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. Troy Justesen donated $324 to the Republican National Committee in 2004.

 

After leaving the Department of Education, Justesen took a job as development vice president at Salt Lake Community College.

 

'If I Can, You Can,' U.S. Official Informs Graduates at CEU (by Suzanne Dean, Deseret Morning News)

Biography (AllGov)

 

 

Beto Gonzalez (Acting Assistant Secretary)             2005 – 2006

Official Biography (U.S. Department of Education)

 

 

Susan Sclafani                                   2003 - 2005

Biography (The Harris Foundation)

 

 

Patricia McNeil                                  Including the years 1997 - 2001

 

more

Comments

Donna Price 6 years ago
this message is for assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, dr. brenda dann-messier. i was so inspired by her keynote speech on nov. 14, 2011 at the national conference on effective transitions in adult education in rhode island. unfortunately i had to leave early to catch a flight back to san diego to teach my class. i would love to have a copy of her speech. thank you. donna price san diego community college
N Kyle 7 years ago
my schooling which included eleven different schools including four high schools. no i did not get kicked out. all of my elementary education was in a one room rural school where teachers taught eight grades--about 40 classes a day. high schools offered vocational subjects for children who knew they could not afford college or did not want to go to college. so, we had printers, carpenters, plumbers, auto mechanics, electricians etc. now we have a surplus of college grads having t...

Leave a comment

Founded: The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) was set up in 1979 after the passage of the Department of Education Organization Act.
Annual Budget: $1.737 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: Approximately 100
Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education
Uvin, Johan
Previous Acting Assistant Secretary

Johan Uvin, a long-time advocate for adult education, accepted the top post of the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education in May 2014.

 

Uvin is from the Netherlands. He earned a secondary teaching credential in language arts and history in Belgium in 1979, and coordinated education programs in Sierra Leone and Belgium before coming to the United States. In 1988 at the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, he earned a master’s degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Uvin later went to Harvard, earning a master’s in international education in 1999 and an Ed.D in administration, planning and social policy in 2003.

 

In the 1990s, Uvin supervised adult basic educational development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specializing in teaching English to hospitality and healthcare workers. He went to work for the Commonwealth Corp. in 2000, first as a workplace learning specialist and the following year as a vice president. There, he secured grants and conducted studies on how those in workforce development programs fared on the job.

 

Uvin went to work for the state of Rhode Island in 2005, first as its director of adult education and, in 2008, as director of the Office of Adult, Career and Technical Education.

 

He joined the federal Department of Education in 2009 as a senior policy adviser to Assistant Secretary Brenda Dann-Messier. In 2011, Uvin was named deputy assistant secretary for policy and strategic initiatives, and the following year he took on the duties of acting director for policy research and evaluation services.

 

Uvin’s wife, Alison Simmons, also works in adult education. They have twin adult sons.

 

Uvin speaks Dutch, English and French.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

more
Dann-Messier, Brenda
Former Assistant Secretary

As the Assistant Secretary of Vocational and Adult Education in the U.S. Department of Education, Brenda Dann-Messier brings an extensive background in the field of adult education to her new job of overseeing community colleges, adult education and technical education across the country. She was confirmed by the Seantae October 5, 2009.

 
Born on April 18, 1949, Dann-Messier and her two brothers were raised by their Jewish parents, Frank Dann and Germana Carpi-Dann, who fled Nazi Germany and Italy in the late 1930s and settled in Warwick, Rhode Island. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Rhode Island College in 1973. Her graduate studies took place at Rhode Island’s Johnson and Wales University, where she received her Master of Education in 1974 and her doctorate in educational leadership in 2000.
 
Dann-Messier directed two federal TRIO programs, the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center (1987-1993) and the Educational Talent Search Program (1991-1993) of the Community College of Rhode Island.
 
In 1993, she was invited to join the Clinton administration’s Education Department as the regional representative for Region I in Boston under then-Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
Three years later, she left Washington to work at the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University.
 
Dann-Messier became president of Dorcas Place, an Adult and Family Learning Center in Providence, RI, in 1999, where she remained until being appointed by President Barack Obama to run the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
 
Her professional affiliations include serving as a member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and chairing the Academic and Student Affairs Committee for the board.
 
Dann-Messier’s husband, Daniel Messier, is a retired teacher.
 
Brenda Dann-Messier (WhoRunsGov.com)
more