NASET News Alert

Hager

May 26, 2006

December 8, 2004

John H. Hager Assumes Duties as Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

December 6, 2004.   John H. Hager, a former lieutenant governor of Virginia, has been sworn in as assistant secretary for the U.S. Education Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The Senate confirmed Hager for the post before its Thanksgiving recess.

In his new position, Hager will lead the office that administers federal special education programs for America's 6.8 million children and youth with disabilities. His office also promotes employment opportunities for adults with disabilities and sponsors research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities of all ages. Hager's service career has included numerous leadership roles with a number of disability organizations.

"I'm looking forward to working with the secretary and my staff at OSERS on matters crucial to education and people with disabilities," Hager said. "With the recent updates to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Assistive Technology Act, we have valuable new opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve."

Before assuming his current duties, Hager held executive-level jobs in both the public and private sectors.

He was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia and served from 1998 to 2002 with then-Gov. James Gilmore. Under Gov. Gilmore, Hager chaired the Virginia Disability Commission, identifying ways to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.

He remained in state government with the election of current Gov. Mark Warner, serving as Virginia's director of homeland security until President Bush announced in May his intent to nominate Hager as U.S. assistant secretary of education for OSERS.

Before entering public office, Hager rose through the ranks to become executive vice president of American Tobacco Co. After a near-fatal bout with polio, Hager rebuilt his life and career, retiring as senior vice president when the corporation was sold in 1994.

Hager earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University and holds honorary degrees from Averett College in Danville, Va., Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., and the University of Northern Virginia in Manassas.

He is a military veteran who served in the Army and Army Reserves and attained the rank of captain. A life-long athlete, Hager has competed in numerous wheelchair races. He and his wife, Margaret, have two grown sons, Jack and Henry.

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