Former White House Deputy Director James Kvaal is next Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence

March 10, 2016

The Ford School community will welcome former Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council James Kvaal as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence this fall. 

The White House announced Mr. Kvaal's departure this morning, highlighting his central role in leading the [Obama] Administration's policy-making process on a wide range of issues including education, labor, working families, and poverty.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Mr. Kvaal was policy director for Obama for America, the President’s 2012 re-election campaign. A graduate of Stanford and of Harvard Law School, he previously served as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education and special assistant to the president for economic policy, "where he shaped policy development on higher education, student financial aid, and labor markets." He also served in positions in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Clinton White House.

Mr. Kvaal's breadth of experience adds to the Ford School's growing strength in the practical dimensions of policymaking, particularly related to education policy. 

"Sue Dynarski, Brian Jacob, and the other Education Policy Initiative researchers have gained tremendous momentum for their rigorous, policy-relevant work, said Dean Susan M. Collins. "The addition of Mr. Kvaal to our faculty for this fall will accelerate that momentum and contribute more broadly to our policy engagement efforts. We're delighted with and honored by his appointment as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence." 

The Ford School's Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program was established in 2002 to bring individuals with significant national or international policy-making experience to campus to interact with students and faculty. The program enhances our curriculum and strengthens our ties to the policy community. 

As part of his residency at the Ford School, Mr. Kvaal will teach two courses open to both undergraduate and master's students and will engage with the broader community with a public event.

Photo: Pete Souza (White House)