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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 13, 1994

The President today announced his intention to nominate Gilberto M. Moreno as Assistant Secretary of the Education Department's Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs. He also named officials to four other positions at the Department of Education. They are: Maria S. Mercado, Patricia H. Parisi, Trini Garza and Suzanne G. Ramos.

"These individuals will bring to the federal government and the Education Department a wealth of experience in education and public service," President Clinton said. "Their talents and expertise will advance a strong community outreach and interagency communication program within the Education Department."

In commenting on the nominee for assistant secretary, the President said, "Gilberto Moreno will complement the excellent team of senior officials at the Education Department who have already helped us achieve so much in the way of education reform."

As assistant secretary, Moreno will oversee the office responsible for serving as a liaison between the Education Department and governmental agencies and public advocacy groups. He has been regional counsel in Washington, D.C., of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) since 1985. While there, he interpreted the litigation and advocacy needs of the region in developing plans and strategies to advance Latino civil rights. Before that, he was executive director from 1982 to 1984 of AYUDA, Inc. His organization helped provide bilingual legal aid to indigent Spanish-speaking people in the Washington area. Moreno was also an assistant city manager and city planning director of Brownsville, Texas in the 1970s.

The other individuals named today include:

Maria S. Mercado, Region II Representative for the Secretary of Education headquartered in New York. Mercado will represent Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley in an area that includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. She has been director of the Office of Educational Services at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, N.J. The school primarily serves an economically challenged, ethnically diverse enrollment of 4,000 students. She has also been acting dean of student and cultural affairs. Before arriving at Passaic in 1985, she worked as a program administrator at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J. From 1972 to 1974, Ms. Mercado also directed a bilingual education program in four New Jersey school districts.

Patricia H. Parisi, Region II Deputy Representative for the Secretary of Education headquartered in New York. Ms. Parisi was the first wheelchair graduate of the Columbia School of Law. She has been a special assistant at the Education Department's public affairs office and an analyst at the Federal Reserve in New York. For seven years, she was also counsel to several New York advertising and marketing firms that served Fortune 500 clients.

Trini Garza, Region VI Deputy Representative for the Secretary of Education headquartered in Dallas. Garza will help represent the Secretary of Education in a region that includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Dallas Independent School District in 1969 and again in 1991. Since 1989, he has chaired the Phoenix Project, a Dallas youth drug treatment and prevention program. In 1975 he was appointed by a federal court as chairman of the Tri-Ethnic Commission to oversee implementation of the Dallas school district's desegregation plan. He is also a past president of the Concilio of Hispanic Service Organizations in Dallas.

Suzanne G. Ramos, Region IX Deputy Representative for the Secretary of Education headquartered in San Francisco. Ms. Ramos will represent the Secretary of Education in a region that includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Since 1991, she has been education counsel to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Before that, she was a staff attorney for MALDEF from 1989 to 1991. For the past two years, she has also served as president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington, D.C.