Margot Rogers [VA '86] , chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, is leaving her post on June 30 after 18 months in which she helped build the department’s leadership team and implement $100 billion worth of economic-stimulus programs.
Before joining Mr. Duncan’s staff at the start of the Obama administration, Ms. Rogers, an attorney, spent 15 years working for education-related nonprofit organizations and foundations, including the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Duncan credits her with serving as a thoughtful sounding board, and for becoming a “one-man HR wrecking crew” as part of an effort to recruit education leaders to top posts in his department.
Taking her place in this key role at a time of broad transition for the department will be Joanne Weiss, who has been in charge of the Race to the Top Fund competitive grant program. Mr. Duncan described the department’s shift as one toward policy implementation and away from policy formation, since the department has already set policies around Race to the Top; the Investing in Innovation, or i3, Fund; and other grant programs.
What follows is an edited transcript of a 30-minute interview on June 14 with Ms. Rogers…