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Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Amanda was the Deputy Education Policy Director for Chair Patty Murray on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. In this role, Amanda helped lead federal education policy for the Democratic caucus of the U.S. Senate and provided strategic and policy advice across a range of education issues, including early childhood education, K-12 education, postsecondary education, career and technical education, and workforce development. During this time, Amanda wrote and helped pass many laws while working in bipartisan coalitions with authorizing and appropriations staff. These laws include the American Rescue Plan, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the CARES Act, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, and most recently, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
In addition to her Deputy role on the Committee, Amanda also served as the lead policy advisor on K-12 education, teacher preparation in higher education, education research, Native American education, and student privacy for Chair Murray. In this capacity, she most recently led efforts to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on schools, including securing historic federal education investments in the American Rescue Plan. Amanda also was the lead K-12 negotiator for Senator Murray during the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 2015. She also worked for Senators Russ Feingold, Al Franken and former HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin. During her career on the Hill, she has worked on every major piece of federal education legislation that became law. Amanda began her career in education as a middle school teacher in Chicago Public Schools and corps member of Teach for America. A proud Midwesterner and native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, she received her BA from the University of Michigan and her JD from the University of Minnesota.