Sandra Battle was appointed on April 1, 2018, to the position of performance improvement officer at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). In this role, she has responsibility for providing executive leadership over all phases of ED's strategic and performance process, with a focus on program, financial and acquisition management, information technology and human capital. As such, she has a critical role in ensuring that the mission and goals of the agency are achieved through strategic and performance planning, measurement, analysis, regular assessment of progress and use of performance information to improve ED's results.
Battle brings extensive experience to this position from her work at ED on civil rights enforcement, education policy and management. Prior to her current appointment, Battle served in leadership and management positions at all levels of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). There, she helped enforce various federal civil rights statutes, including those that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age (2002–18). Battle served as the deputy assistant secretary for enforcement in OCR (2009–18), overseeing the carrying out of the civil rights laws across its 12 regional offices. She has been deputy assistant secretary for policy, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, senior counsel to the assistant secretary, director of OCR's postsecondary education division and national coordinator for sex equity. Battle also was appointed to serve on ED’s Organizational Performance Review Board (2011–15) and, in 2012, she received a Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service for sustained superior accomplishment in management of programs in the United States Government.
From 1995 to 2002, Battle served in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Education. In passing the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA) of 1994, Congress required the creation of an advisor to the secretary for gender equity to "promote, coordinate, and evaluate gender equity programs, including the dissemination of information, technical assistance, and coordination of research activities." Battle was appointed to this position in May 1995. In her role as special assistant for gender equity, she advised the deputy secretary on matters relating to equity, and convened a departmental task force to develop policy, promote, and implement gender equity in all of ED’s programs and activities.
Battle also represented the deputy secretary on the President’s Interagency Council on Women. She later represented ED as a member of the president’s Federal Interagency Task Force on the District of Columbia to improve education in D.C. Additionally, as an advisor to the deputy secretary, she was the representative for coordinating ED’s initiatives to help improve teaching and learning in the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Battle holds a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C. She also attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2003 and 2005. Battle is an active member of the D.C. Bar.