Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, North Providence, Providence) have appointed six members of the General Assembly to serve on the Office of Postsecondary Commissioner Advisory Committee.

The mission of the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) is to support the work of the Board of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education in providing an excellent, accessible and affordable system of higher education designed to improve the overall educational attainment of the citizens of Rhode Island, support economic development, and enrich the civic, social and cultural life of all living in the state of Rhode Island.

Speaker Shekarchi appointed Representatives Gregg Amore, Karen Alzate and Nathan W. Biah.  Representative Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) is an educator with the East Providence School Department.  He is also the chairman of the House Finance Subcommittee on Education and the second vice-chair of the House Education Committee.  Representative Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket) is the chair of the RI Legislative Black and Latino Caucus and is a member of the House Education Committee.  Representative Biah (D-Dist. 3, Providence) is the principal at Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School in Providence and a member of the House Education Committee.

Senate President Ruggerio appointed Senators Hanna M. Gallo, Sandra Cano and Ryan W. Pearson.  Senator Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) is an educator who is Senate President Pro Tempore and vice-chair of the Senate Education Committee.  Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) is the chair of the Senate Education Committee.  Senator Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Senate Education Committee.

The Advisory Committee will meet three times, beginning on August 26, to develop a set of strategies that will enable the state to make progress on higher education policy priorities.  The committee will consist of 40 leaders from across Rhode Island, representing a diverse set of constituencies, including state policymakers, directors of state agencies, higher education leaders, student representatives and workforce and community leaders.

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