OPE: Office of Postsecondary Education
Current Section
Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education - Staff Contacts


  • Ralph Hines

    Mr. Hines serves as Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). FIPSE’s primary legislative mandate is the encouragement of reform and improvement of, and innovation in, postsecondary education and the provision of educational opportunity for all students. Through its grant competitions, FIPSE supports the implementation of innovative reforms, evaluates how well they work, and shares lessons learned with the education community. As Director, he has overall responsibility for program planning, policy development, application review and grants initiation, and grants management. He also leads ad hoc groups of staff in the development and execution of special projects and initiatives for the Department’s senior officers. Mr. Hines serves as the Designated Federal Official in matters concerning FIPSE’s National Board and, with the Board Chair, is responsible for convening Board meetings and setting agendas for these meetings with a view to securing the best counsel of the Board regarding FIPSE’s objectives and procedures. Prior to coming to FIPSE, Mr. Hines served as Director of the Department’s International Education Programs Service, which is now called the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) service. The IFLE administers the international education programs authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and Section 102(b)(6) of the Fulbright-Hays Act. As such, he managed the major federal programs dedicated to the maintenance and development of a national capacity in foreign language, area studies and international business. Mr. Hines has held a variety of administrative, programmatic and management positions in his more than 41 years of service with the Department. Mr. Hines has served the public in a great variety of professional activities, including work on governmental and non-governmental advisory groups and task forces in the United States and abroad that focused on the totality of the federal education effort, particularly in the areas of international education and exchanges, graduate education, and postsecondary education reform and innovation. His professional activities have included travel and consultations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. He holds BA and MA degrees from Norfolk State University and the George Washington University, respectively, and the Senior Executive Fellows certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

    (202) 502-7618


  • Sarah Beaton

    Sarah joined the FIPSE staff in July 2007. Prior to this position, Sarah served as Team Leader of the International Studies Team, in the International Education Programs Service. Sarah directed seven discretionary grant programs with an annual budget of over $30 million and a staff of nine to improve the academic teaching of area studies, foreign languages, and international business. Her background includes the study of economics, liberal arts, and business both at home and abroad. She received her B.S. in Business and Economics from the College of New Rochelle and M.A. in International Studies from George Mason University. She is an enthusiastic internationalist and uses her influence and talents to help develop sustainable and creative international programs at universities and colleges throughout the United States.

    (202) 502-7621

  • Frank Frankfort, Ph.D.

    Dr. Frankfort is a Senior Program Manager for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. Dr. Frankfort serves as the lead program coordinator for the new First In The World grant program. During his tenure in FIPSE, he directed several grant programs including the EU-US Atlantis Program, North American Mobility Program, and the U.S.–Brazil Program.

    Dr. Frankfort received his bachelor’s degree in History and Classical Languages from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his masters and doctoral degrees in Medieval Studies from the University of Cincinnati. During his tenure as professor of History at Westminster College (PA), he conducted numerous overseas seminars in cultural history in addition to teaching a variety of courses in European history and multicultural studies at the undergraduate and graduate level.

    Dr. Frankfort received an American Council on Education fellowship and served as special assistant to the president of Oberlin College. In that capacity he was the author of a national report on science education at selective liberal arts colleges. In Washington, Dr. Frankfort has served as coordinator for Science and Humanities projects in higher education for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Frankfort also served as a Professor of Humanities and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Hood College, Frederick, Maryland.

    Dr. Frankfort’s interests include international education and educational reform issues, particularly issues that deal with the impact of globalization and internationalization on U.S. educational institutions, closing the achievement gap and increasing and graduating more minority and low-income students from college.

    (202) 502-7513

  • Kelly Harris

    (202) 219-7083

  • Gary Thomas

    (202) 502-7767

Administrative Staff

  • Beverly Baker
    Management Program Analyst

    Beverly’s work at FIPSE has been varied. Currently her focus is on grant closeouts and reconciliation of accounts, but she has worked in some capacity with every major FIPSE program over the years. She is also the contracting officer's representative (COR) for FIPSE on the database contract. Beverly was awarded the "Secretary's Anchor Award" for her services to the Department of Education in 1996.

    (202) 502-7503

FIPSE office location and general mailing address:

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education
U.S. Department of Education, OPE
1990 K Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Mail Stop K-OPE-6-6163
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 502-7500
Fax: (202) 502-7877
E-mail: fipse@ed.gov
Web Site: www.ed.gov/ope/fipse/index.html



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Last Modified: 05/04/2015