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Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs – Biography

Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., currently serves as the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education and deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at the U.S. Department of Education.  In these roles, she oversees the Department’s work to support and strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote innovation and improvement for students and broaden the attainment of global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of the nation.

Dr. Cooper brings more than 20 years of experience to this work.  Most recently, she served as the president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, where she managed the organization’s expansive research portfolio and advocacy agenda. She has also held leadership positions at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council for Independent Colleges, and King’s College. Dr. Cooper served as the deputy director for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance at the U.S. Department of Education.

A recognized advocate for racial and economic equity, experienced practitioner, and demonstrated leader, Dr. Cooper is a champion of access and success for all students in higher education.

Last Modified: 03/08/2021