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Name: Oates, Jane
Current Position: Former Assistant Secretary

Jane Oates, President Obama’s choice to head the Employment and Training Administration, was confirmed by the Senate on June 12, 2009. She began her career as a special education teacher, and once helped advise the company behind the controversial Channel One program, before serving as a top aide on Capitol Hill and to the governor of New Jersey.

A native of Philadelphia, Oates attended Boston College, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. She attended graduate school at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, earning a Master of Arts.
Oates began her career as a middle-school special education teacher, working in public schools in Philadelphia and Boston. In October 1989 she was appointed to a panel of educators who advised on the content of the Channel One daily news show for use in classrooms across the country. The Channel One program provoked considerable controversy because each show contained two minutes of paid advertising for products ranging from candy bars to acne medicine.
Oates later worked at Temple University, serving as director of field services in the areas of human services and education, before moving to Washington, DC. In 1997 she went to work on Capitol Hill for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Her title was senior policy advisor on higher education, national service, adult literacy, education research, and workforce issues. In this capacity Oates was the chief of staff to the Democratic members of the HELP committee on two reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act, the reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research, the creation and implementation of the Workforce Investment Act, and The Carl Perkins Vocational Education Act.
Oates left Washington, DC, in March 2006 to become a senior policy advisor on higher education for Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ). She also became executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.
Oates has served on the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission, the State Commission on Adult Literacy and Education, New Jersey High School Redesign Task Force, and the Public Sector Work Group, along with chairing the State Educators Health Benefits Commission and The Governor’s Schools Board of Overseers.
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