At a Glance
- Career History: Provost and Vice President at Sonoma State University (2003-2009); Professor of international business and dean of the College of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (1997-2003); Professor of economics at California State University, Los Angeles (1984-1996)
- Birthday: Nov. 18, 1950
- Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Alma Mater: Reed College, B.S. 1973; Columbia University, M.S. 1976. New School for Social Research, Ph.D (1984)
- Spouse: Holly Ochoa, a historian
- Web site
Path To Power
Ochoa said that when President Obama called on him to join the Education Department, it came as "a bolt out of the blue."
He had no previous experience in politics on any level before joining the administration.
A top priority of the Office of Postsecondary Education is working to meet President Obama's goal of making America the country with the highest proportion of college degrees by 2020.
Ochoa's boss, Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, comes from a community college background and sees the schools as a critical tool to help reach the president's goal. The department's agenda has been to subsidize community colleges and regulate loans given to students attending underperforming private, for-profit colleges.
At the Education Department, Ochoa works directly for Under Secretary of Postsecondary Education Martha Kanter, but in the department's bid to regulate private, for-profit colleges that may be underperforming, he will also work closely with Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Student Aid head William Taggart.
There were no listings of political donations by Ochoa in Opensecrets.org.