She is Barack Obama's assistant secretary of education today — but Brenda Dann-Messier has worked to improve access to higher education since her days as a graduate student at Johnson & Wales University.
In fact, her doctoral dissertation for JWU's Educational Leadership Doctoral Program was on that very topic.
New Role with US Education DepartmentNow, Dann-Messier is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's principal advisor.
Her focus: High school, career, community college, technical and adult education.
She also represents the department at national and international meetings related to vocational and adult education.
Clinton Administration ExperienceThis is Dann-Messier’s second post with the United States Department of Education.
During the Clinton administration, she served as Secretary Richard Riley’s regional representative in Boston.Lifelong Career in Education Previously, Dann-Messier served as president of Dorcas Place Adult & Family Learning Center in Providence. The center provides educational and job placement services, college preparatory classes and family literacy programs for welfare recipients. Dann-Messier also worked at the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University.
She is a member of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, and chairs the Academic and Student Affairs subcommittee for the board.