ED Announces New Appointments: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of Jo Anderson Jr. as senior advisor to the Department of Education. Anderson will conduct outreach to teachers and teacher organizations. Currently, Anderson serves as the executive director of the Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA). Before assuming that post, he held a variety of other positions with IEA-NEA, working on a range of issues from school restructuring to professional development. "Jo Anderson has spent many years as an effective advocate for teachers and a strong champion of school improvement," Duncan said. "His outstanding leadership abilities and partnering skills will be a real asset as we look to collaborate with teachers on our reform initiatives. I am honored to have Jo on my team." Also announced this week was the nomination of Gabriella Gomez, a senior education policy advisor for the House Education and Labor Committee, as assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs at the Department of Education. "I am thrilled that President Obama has nominated Gaby to be assistant education secretary. Over the past three years, she has helped Congress enact some of the most significant changes to higher education policy in history, including increasing $20 billion in college aid for students and families, cleaning up shady practices in the student loan industry and modernizing our higher education program," said George Miller (D-Calif.), committee chairman.