NewsLaWanda Toney Promoted To Top Education Department Role

LaWanda Toney Promoted To Top Education Department Role

Toney will advise on the coordination and implementation of initiatives with the Chief of Staff and Education Secretary.

LaWanda Toney has been named deputy chief of staff for Strategic Communications and Partnerships in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. 

Toney was recently promoted to this role after serving as senior advisor in the Education Department’s Office of Communications and Outreach for two years. 

Toney told BLACK ENTERPRISE she’s most excited about “the ability to plan and coordinate with the Secretary and Chief of Staff on the agency priorities,” while “continuing our priorities around college affordability, mental health, and academic achievement.”

In her new role, Toney said she will be charged with providing advice on the coordination and implementation of initiatives with the Chief of Staff and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. She will also represent Secretary Cardona at conferences, seminars, and high-level meetings.

Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Toney served as the director of Strategic Communications at the National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA). Prior to working at National PTA, Toney managed marketing programs, planned special events and created communications campaigns for major retailers, nonprofits, publishing, and advertising companies. 

Nathan Monell, National PTA executive director, lauded Toney’s leadership of the National PTA’s “award-winning strategic communications team” for more than a decade.

“She elevated the voices of parents on issues impacting schools and the well-being, safety, and educational success of students and families. She drove timely resources to the field in the advancement of our mission to create equitable and safe educational experiences for all of our nation’s children so they can reach their fullest potential,” Monell said. “Mrs. Toney will be a strong addition and tremendous asset to the objectives of Secretary Cardona and his team.”

An Orangeburg, SC, native, Toney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in strategic communication with an emphasis in public relations from Trinity University. She is also a member of ColorComm, an organization for women of color in all areas of communications.

Toney notes that her education at a historically Black university helped prepare her for this top federal leadership role.

“Howard taught me perseverance, persistence and high performance,” Toney said. “I have continued those tenants throughout my career.”

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Source: Black Enterprise


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