Washington, D.C., Aug. 1, 2000—U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley has named Thomas R. Wolanin, Senior Associate at The Institute for Higher Education Policy, as a member of the bipartisan Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. The 11-member committee advises the Congress and the Secretary of Education on student aid matters and makes recommendations to improve access to postsecondary education for low- and middle-income students.
Since October, 1996, Wolanin has been a Senior Associate at The Institute, focusing on issues concerning postsecondary education financing, higher education governance, student access and equity, and federal policy development. Prior to joining The Institute, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Riley. In that position, he worked on the enactment of the President's education program, including the Federal Direct Loan Program, GOALS 2000: Educate America Act, and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act.
Wolanin's distinguished career has included service as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education in the U.S. House of Representatives. In that capacity, he managed the reauthorizations of the Higher Education Act in 1980, 1986, and 1992, under the leadership of Chairman William D. Ford. He also has served in a variety of other legislative positions in the House of Representatives, including Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Investigations under the Post Office and Civil Service Committee.
Wolanin's academic career has included teaching positions at George Washington University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oberlin College. He also served as Executive Assistant to the President at New York University. He has published widely, including books on higher education policy and presidential advisory commissions, and articles on Congress, American politics, education policy, and international education.
"I am delighted by Tom's appointment to the committee," stated Jamie P. Merisotis, President of The Institute. "His experience and record of success with Federal higher education policy issues is unparalleled. That experience will prove invaluable to the important work of the committee, and will enhance The Institute's mission as a fair, objective source of information and advice about higher education policy development."