On March 17, 2010, Kathleen S. Tighe was sworn in as the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education. In December 2011, Ms. Tighe was appointed by President Obama to chair the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, a position she undertakes while continuing to serve as the Inspector General of the Department of Education. In June 2011, Inspector General Tighe was also appointed to serve on the Government Accountability and Transparency Board.
Ms. Tighe has a long and distinguished career in government accountability and a wealth of experience in fighting fraud. Prior to taking the helm at Education, she was the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture. From 1995 to 2005, she served as Counsel to the Inspector General, General Services Administration and, before that, as an Assistant Counsel for the Office of Inspector General.
From 1988 until 1991, Ms. Tighe was a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice. In that post, she litigated cases under the civil False Claims Act involving government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, and the General Services Administration. Prior to her government service, Ms. Tighe was in private practice with the law firm Lewis, Mitchell & Moore.
As a senior government official, Ms. Tighe has repeatedly demonstrated her strong commitment to transparency and accountability. At the Education Department, she has focused on recovering funds misused by contractors and others. As a member of the Recovery Board, she has been a strong advocate for providing clear accountability on how Recovery Act funds are distributed by federal agencies and used by recipients.
Ms. Tighe also has played an active role in the operations of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an independent entity established by Congress to promote economies and efficiencies in government. She is a member of CIGIE's Audit Committee, its Investigations Committee, and its Information Technology Committee. She has lectured frequently to both government and private organizations on issues relating to fraud, waste and abuse in government programs.
Ms. Tighe earned her law degree with honors from George Washington University (JD'83). She has a Master's Degree in International Relations from American University (MA'79). She graduated with distinction from Purdue University (BA'76), where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.