Expertise: Higher education

David A. Bergeron is a senior fellow for Postsecondary Education at American Progress.

Bergeron previously served as the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education. In this position, Bergeron acted as the education secretary’s chief adviser on higher education issues and administered more than 60 grant and loan programs that provide nearly $3 billion annually to institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The Education Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) supports higher education programs through financial support to eligible institutions and recruits, and prepares disadvantaged students for successful completion of college; promotes the study of foreign languages and international affairs; and supports international educational research and exchange activities. Notable among its programs are the eight TRIO programs, institutional development programs for minority institutions, teacher development programs, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The OPE runs the well-known Byrd, Fulbright, Javits, and McNair programs and certifies all regional and national accreditation agencies, so they, in turn, may qualify institutions to receive federal financial aid, including Pell Grants. Bergeron has been serving in this capacity since July 1, 2012.

Bergeron also served as the deputy assistant secretary for policy, planning, and innovation for the OPE. In this capacity, Bergeron was responsible for the program budget for the federal postsecondary education programs administered by the OPE and the Federal Student Aid office, which generate more than $160 billion in financial aid to more than 25 million students enrolled at public and private postsecondary institutions. Bergeron is also responsible for legislative, regulatory, and other policies affecting the department’s postsecondary education programs, including Federal Student Aid. In this capacity, Bergeron became acting deputy assistant secretary in 2009 and was named permanently in that position in 2011. Prior to becoming deputy assistant secretary, Bergeron served in a variety of other roles in the Department of Education. He has led key policy groups working on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, researched market-based approaches to loan subsidies under the guaranteed loan programs, and developed program regulations and other policy guidelines.

Prior to joining the department, Bergeron received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology from the University of Rhode Island and worked for a bank in consumer loans.