Michelle Asha Cooper

Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education

Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., currently serves as the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education and deputy assistant director for higher education programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

In these roles, she oversees the Department’s work to support and strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in postsecondary education, promote and expand affordability of and access to postsecondary education, increase college completion rates for America’s students, and broaden the attainment of global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of the nation.

Dr. Cooper believes that educational attainment can improve an individual’s life and, in doing so, strengthen families, communities, and the workforce. Through her work and experience, she has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education. She sees education as a vehicle for social impact and a core tenet of a civil society. These beliefs fuel Dr. Cooper’s passion for postsecondary opportunity and have enabled her to inform and shape national, state, local and institutional policy.
A recognized advocate for racial and economic equity, experienced practitioner, and demonstrated leader, Dr. Cooper is a champion of access and success for all students in higher education.