FSA News


U.S. Department of Education

Secretary DeVos Names Mark A. Brown the New Chief Operating Officer of FSA

MARCH 4, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today Mark A. Brown has been appointed chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid (FSA).

“We are thrilled Mark has agreed to lead the continued efforts to transform and modernize FSA,” said Secretary DeVos. “He comes to us with more than 32 years of military service and brings a deep understanding of large-scale organizational leadership and complex financial processes, as well as a sense of duty to America’s students. He will be a tremendous asset to our organization, students and taxpayers. Mark will have big shoes to fill as our long-time colleague and current Acting COO of FSA Jim Manning retires from public service for a second time.”

Mark Brown is a retired major general in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), with over 32 years of service to our country. Most recently, he served as the deputy commander for the Air Education and Training Command, where he was responsible for Air Force education, as well as basic and technical training. Prior to that, he served in a series of roles across the USAF, including commander of the 2nd Air Force, director of Financial Management and comptroller and Mission Support Group commander. During his time as CFO of the Air Force Material Command, he was charged with overseeing a $67 billion portfolio, with budget and financial planning responsibilities that provided vital services to support command units around the world. He also served as the congressional liaison to the House and Senate Appropriations Military Sub-Committees.

Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tuskegee University, a master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University, a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Air Command and Staff College and a master’s degree of national security strategy from the National Defense University.

Dr. A. Wayne Johnson will remain FSA’s chief strategy and transformation officer, continuing his work on the Next Generation (Next Gen) financial services environment which aims to modernize the technology and operational components that support FSA programs from application through repayment.

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About gathard

Jim Gathard is the owner and principal of National Consulting Services, LLC a New York based consulting firm providing advisory in strategic planning, risk management, and organization management to financial services and higher education organizations Mr. Gathard has expertise and senior executive experience in private sector financial services, legislative and government relations, and higher education management. He has held senior business executive positions at JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Prior to his private sector experience Mr. Gathard has nearly twenty years in higher education administration as Deputy Provost/Executive Vice President, Vice President for Student Services and Compliance, Dean of Enrollment Management and Director of Student Financial Services. National Consulting Services, LLC clients include a broad spectrum of publically traded and private financial services firms and not for profit and for-profit organizations including colleges and universities. In the higher education space Mr. Gathard’s primary focus is the student segment including the student financial services, access and enrollment, institutional compliance and; financial literacy and debt management. Mr. Gathard serves on and is advisor to numerous industry and community related boards. Mr. Gathard has been a NYSFAAA member for more than 30 years.

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