Education Activity Director Moved to New Post
By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2010 The leader of the Department of Defense Education Activity has been temporarily assigned to another job within the department, effective immediately, a defense official announced today.
Shirley Miles, who served as the activity’s director since June 2008, will be detailed to military personnel policy, said Virginia S. Penrod, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy.
Marilee Fitzgerald, acting undersecretary for civilian personnel policy, will become the activity’s new acting director, she added.
Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, made the personnel change as part of an “evolving process” to ensure positions are structured properly within his organization, Penrod explained.
“One of [Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’] charters to Dr. Stanley was to look at the personnel and readiness organization,” Penrod said. “Stanley is looking at: ‘Are we structured for success? Are we providing the most effective training and education? Are we supporting the mission?’
“He’s made different moves, and I think he will continue to do that as he looks at where’s the right fit for the organization,” she added.
Penrod declined to give specifics on what Miles’ specific duties will be within military personnel policy, but noted that her education expertise will be used to the organization’s benefit.
Penrod said she has full confidence in the new director. Fitzgerald will have oversight of all Defense Department schools, which includes 191 schools in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven states, Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 84,000 students, according to the activity’s website.
Fitzgerald has extensive experience within the education activity, Penrod said, including prior positions as the activity’s chief of staff, associate director of management, chief of executive services and chief of recruitment.
“She understands how the organization operates,” Penrod said. “I think Marilee is an excellent choice to go into that position.”
A memo announcing the change will be issued to the education activity’s staff. As for the parents and students, Penrod said, the leadership change should be transparent.