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OPEPD: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development
   Current Section  Student Privacy Policy Office
Student Privacy Policy Office

The Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) leads the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) efforts to protect privacy. SPPO provides leadership, oversight, and coordination to ensure Department and field compliance with federal privacy laws, regulations, and policies. SPPO manages and maintains the Department’s privacy program to include the enforcement of student privacy laws, the development and evaluation of privacy policy, and the management of privacy risks across the Department.

SPPO is led by a Director who also serves as the Department’s Chief Privacy Officer and Senior Agency Official for Privacy. The SPPO Director serves as an expert on privacy across the Department and the field, collaborates with other federal agencies and educational entities with roles in protecting privacy, and advises the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary on issues relating to privacy.

SPPO’s work covers two general functions – student privacy policy and privacy safeguards. For more information about these functions, please see below.

Student Privacy Policy

SPPO is responsible for the administration and enforcement of federal laws relating to the privacy of students’ education records, and for the provision of technical assistance on student privacy issues for the broader education community. SPPO’s student privacy functions are divided across two focus areas, providing guidance and best practices, and administering federal education privacy laws. SPPO is responsible for:

  • Investigating and enforcing complaints from parents and eligible students relating to their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). SPPO also provides technical assistance to parents and students who feel their rights under FERPA or PPRA may have been violated.
  • Developing policy and guidance on longstanding and emerging student privacy policy issues, and for providing general and targeted technical assistance to educational agencies and institutions, and the broader education community, on issues relating to statutory and regulatory compliance, as well as best practices for protecting student privacy beyond compliance with Federal requirements.

For more information, please visit the Department’s Student Privacy page.

Privacy Safeguards

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to protecting the privacy rights of all individuals whose information it maintains. SPPO serves at the epicenter of the Department’s privacy program, ensuring compliance with applicable privacy requirements, developing and evaluating privacy policy, and managing privacy risks across the Department. Through its role as the Department’s leader in privacy policy, implementation, education, and training, SPPO raises awareness of privacy issues, demonstrates how Departmental personnel can safeguard personally identifiable information (PII), and fosters a culture of accountability for protecting PII within the Department.

For more information, please visit the Department’s Privacy Safeguards page.

Meet the Leadership

Kevin Herms

Kevin Herms image

Kevin Herms is the Chief Privacy Officer, the Senior Agency Official for Privacy, and the Director of the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) at the U.S. Department of Education (Department). Kevin leads the Department’s privacy program and the SPPO’s administration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment. Prior to joining the Department, Kevin served as Deputy Branch Chief of the Privacy Branch at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Executive Office of the President. During his 11 years at OMB, Kevin was responsible for developing Federal privacy policy, overseeing implementation of privacy law and policy by Federal agencies, and providing assistance to Federal agencies on privacy matters. Kevin has a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, an M.P.P. from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from Pomona College.


Frank Miller

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Frank Miller is the Deputy Director of the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO), focusing on the administration of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Protections of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Prior to joining SPPO in 2013, he was an education program specialist in the Office of Special Education Programs. Before beginning his federal career in 2011, Frank had several years of State-level experience, including 6 years as Division Chief in the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning where he had fiscal, operations and monitoring, and data management responsibilities for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Part B/619 programming; and 9 years in regulatory administration and program compliance with the PA Department of Health. In addition to federal and state level experience, he also worked at the local level as a children and youth caseworker and program manager of community living arrangements for individuals with disabilities. Frank has a B.S. degree in health policy and administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.


Kristen Lefevre

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Kristen Lefevre is the Privacy Safeguards lead of the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) at the U.S. Department of Education. She has 20 years of experience working on a wide variety of privacy issues. A certified privacy professional and attorney, she has privacy expertise in both the public and private sectors. At the Department of Education, Ms. Lefevre leads the ED privacy safeguards team to develop and implement all elements of ED’s privacy program. Her work includes drafting and implementing ED’s privacy incident response policy and plan; managing and coordinating privacy incidents; drafting privacy training modules; developing department-wide privacy policies, guidance, and procedures; and establishing and managing ED’s program for internal compliance with federal privacy requirements. She has a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a J.D., from the Catholic University of America.

Connect with SPPO

To view SPPO’s guidance on student privacy Guidance
To contact SPPO’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center PTAC
To Subscribe to the Student Privacy Newsletter Student Privacy Newsletter
To access student privacy training resources Training
To file a complaint under FERPA or PPRA File a Complaint
To contact the Department’s Senior Agency Official for Privacy
To submit an access or amendment request under the Privacy Act Privacy Act Request
To view a more detailed description of SPPO’s work SPPO's Work

Last Modified: 07/11/2022