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Victoria Vasques is the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education. In this position, Ms. Vasques serves as the principal point of contact within the federal government for Indian education and for the 32 tribal colleges and universities across the nation.
The mission of the Office of Indian Education is to support the efforts of local education agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities to meet the unique academic and culturally related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives so that these students can achieve to the same challenging state standards as all students. The No Child Left Behind Act amends the Indian education programs as Title VII, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This landmark in education reform embodies four key principles: stronger accountability for results; greater flexibility in the use of federal funds; more choices for parents of children from disadvantaged backgrounds; and an emphasis on research-based instruction that works.
Ms. Vasques has more than two decades of experience in education and American Indian issues, having served as executive director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities, director of Indian Affairs at the Department of Energy, as an education program specialist in the Office of Indian Education, on the President’s Commission on Indian Reservation Economics, and on the Presidential Commission on the HIV Epidemic in the Reagan administration. Her experience with Indian issues outside the federal government includes serving as a technical assistant specialist at the National Congress of American Indians, and as tribal liaison at The Committee for the 50th Presidential Inaugural.
Ms. Vasques received her bachelor of science degree from California State University at Fullerton, then went on to receive teaching credentials from the University of California at Irvine. She is part Diegueno of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, Valley Center, California, and was named American Indian Woman of the Year in 1986. She is also a member of the Decade Society, a non-profit organization of young Washington-area professionals dedicated to supporting local charities involved in areas such as literacy, health care, child safety, after-school enrichment and education.
Victoria resides in Old Town Alexandria, Va., with her husband, Fabrice, and their daughter, Alex.
Read the Press Release announcing the appointment of Victoria Vasques as the Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education.