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Richard W. Riley

The Honorable Richard W. Riley
U.S. Department of Education

President Bill Clinton chose Richard Riley to be Secretary of Education in December 1992 after Riley won national recognition for his highly successful effort to improve education in South Carolina. During the President's first term, Secretary Riley helped launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards, improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged, expand loans to help more Americans go to college, prepare young people for the world of work, and improve teaching. He also helped to create the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, which presently includes more than 4,000 groups. In his second term, Secretary Riley has helped win a major ruling by the Federal Communications Commission to give schools and libraries deep discounts for Internet access and telecommunications services and helped win major improvements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Secretary Riley also worked with President Clinton to win tax cuts and increase grants to help needy and middle-income families afford college and provide lifelong learning opportunities to Americans of all ages. Secretary Riley was a State representative and a State senator from 1963 to 1977. He was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1978 and reelected in 1982. He graduated cum laude from Furman University and served as an officer on a U.S. Navy minesweeper. Secretary Riley received a juris doctor degree from the University of South Carolina.

Date Created: July 8, 2020