Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education: Who Is Ericka Miller?
On November 11, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Ericka M. Miller to be the assistant secretary for Postsecondary Education in the Department of Education. Her nomination was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on January 29, 2014. If confirmed by the full Senate, Miller will be in charge of the Office of Postsecondary Education, which develops policy for and administers programs benefiting postsecondary education, in particular issues relating to minority and disadvantaged students, and accreditation. Among other responsibilities, the office oversees Federal Student Aid programs and Fulbright grants.
Miller is from Alexandria, Virginia, graduating from T.C. Williams High School in 1982. She attended Georgetown University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1987. Miller remained in the Washington area after graduation, becoming an assistant managing editor of Washingtonian magazine, a post she held until 1990.
At that point, Miller began studies in English Literature at Stanford University. Her dissertation was later published as a book: The Other Reconstruction Where Violence and Womanhood Meet in the Writings of Ida B Wells-Barnett Angelina Weld Grimke and Nella Larsen--Studies in African American History and Culture. It examines works by three African-American women whose writings expose the economic, political, and social factors that sustained race violence in post-Reconstruction United States. Miller received her Ph.D. in 1996.
While in Northern California, Miller was an assistant professor at Mills College in Oakland from 1995 to 1997. Miller then returned to Washington, becoming a legislative assistant for education issues for Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska). She served in that position until 2001, when Kerrey left office.
In 2001, Miller went to work for The McKenzie Group, which is now part of American Institutes for Research. She began as director for its Division of Organizational Development and Government Relations and in 2002 was made president and chief operating officer, a post she held until 2005. She then moved to Isaacson, Miller, an executive recruiting and search firm. There, she was vice president and director in charge of the company’s K-12 education practice.
Since 2007, Miller has been vice president for Operations and Strategic Leadership at The Education Trust, which promotes academic achievement for students from pre-kindergarten through college. Miller is also a member of the National Council of Education and Human Development at George Washington University, the George Mason University College of Education and Human Development Advisory Board, and the Board of Trustees of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria.
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