James Kvaal is the newly appointed U.S. Under Secretary of Education, a position tasked with overseeing programs and policies related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid.
Previously, Kvaal was president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a research and advocacy nonprofit focused on higher education affordability and equity.
"James Kvaal, the nation's new Under Secretary of Education, has a deep understanding of the strengths, needs, and challenges in postsecondary education," said Dr. Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education. "This is critical at a time when increasing college access, affordability, and completion is key to helping America build back better."
Under the Obama administration, Kvaal served as the deputy domestic policy adviser at the White House and deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. He worked to cut student loan monthly payments, hold career colleges accountable for debts, and make community colleges tuition-free. Kvaal has also been in senior roles in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
"With this confirmation, the Biden administration and the American people gain a dedicated and distinguished public servant with strong expertise in higher education who will always put students first," added Cardona.