On March 17, 2010, Kathleen S. Tighe was sworn in as the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). In December 2011, Tighe was appointed by President Obama to chair the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board while continuing to serve as ED’s inspector general. In June 2011, she was also appointed to serve on the Government Accountability and Transparency Board.
Tighe has a long and distinguished career in government accountability and a wealth of experience in fighting fraud. Prior to taking the helm at ED’s OIG, she was the deputy inspector general of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1995 to 2005, she served as counsel to the inspector general at the General Services Administration (GSA) and, before that, as an assistant counsel for the GSA Office of Inspector General.
From 1988 until 1991, Tighe was a trial attorney in the Fraud Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Department of Justice. She litigated cases under the civil False Claims Act representing various government agencies. Prior to her government service, Tighe was in private practice with the law firm Lewis, Mitchell & Moore.
Tighe also has played an active role in the operations of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), the umbrella organization for all federal inspectors general, established by Congress to address integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies. She currently chairs the CIGIE Information Technology Committee and is a member of CIGIE's Audit Committee.
Tighe has lectured frequently to both government and private organizations on issues relating to fraud, waste, and abuse in government programs. In 2014, she was named by the Institute of Internal Auditors as one of the most influential professionals in government auditing.
Tighe earned her law degree with honors from George Washington University (J.D., 1983) and a master's degree in International Relations from American University (M.A., 1979). She graduated with distinction from Purdue University (B.A., 1976), where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.