The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents




Richard P. Mills


Appointment of Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education – P-16




February 12, 2007








Executive Summary


Issue for Decision


            Will the Board of Regents approve my appointment of Johanna Duncan-Poitier to the position of Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education – P16?


Reasons for Consideration


Johanna Duncan-Poitier has been recognized across the State and the nation for providing results-driven educational leadership, steering organizational change, directing innovative public programs, and creating cultures of collaboration to drive performance.  She has provided over 20 years of leadership in the State Education Department in the Offices of Higher Education, the Professions, Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), and Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC), most recently serving concurrently as Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Higher Education and Office of the Professions.


In her role as Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Duncan-Poitier led the development of the most comprehensive Regents Statewide Plan for Higher Education in New York’s history.  She engaged leaders from across the higher education community, K-12 schools, community-based organizations, government, professional associations, unions, and others toward the development of a Plan that will drive higher education policy in New York and shape proposals for regulation, legislation, and State funding for higher education through 2012.  Ms. Duncan-Poitier has also provided ten years of transformative leadership as Deputy Commissioner in the Office of the Professions.  Under her direction, the Office has upheld the Board of Regents long-standing commitment to public protection and the integrity of the licensed professions. 


Ms. Duncan-Poitier brings to the role of Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-16 an unparalleled commitment to collaborating with teachers, students, school leaders, parents, college and university administrators, union leaders, government representatives, community leaders, and many other partners to support student performance and success by ensuring that all students are taught by qualified teachers and provided a quality education; working to raise graduation rates in high schools and colleges; infusing new standards of accountability in schools across the State; and strengthening the pre-Kindergarten through higher education continuum.


Proposed Handling


            The Board of Regents will review Ms. Duncan-Poitier’s credentials and experience in Executive Session on February 13, 2007.


Procedural History


            Two extensive national searches were conducted, and many capable finalists were interviewed. In the course of the deliberations, it became obvious that we need an individual who is best suited to achieve the goals of the Regents P-16 Plan. Ms. Duncan-Poitier’s ability to transform organizations, secure the trust of diverse constituencies, unite different groups around a common goal, and achieve outstanding results makes her an ideal choice for the new position of Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education - P-16.




            Accordingly, I recommend that you take the following action.


            VOTED, that the Board of Regents accept the appointment of Johanna Duncan-Poitier to the position of Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education – P-16, effective March 22, 2007.