|January 28, 2003
Nina [Hosseini] Shokraii Rees leads the newly created U.S.
Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), overseeing the administration of
approximately 25 competitive grant programs. The office supports education innovation,
broadly disseminates the lessons learned from these programs and helps to make strategic
investments in promising educational practices.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Rees was one of four aides to
Vice President Cheney, advising him on domestic policy issues. She advised the vice
president on education, crime, homeownership, race, welfare and other issues affecting
families and children. She worked on the passage of the president's proposal to overhaul
the federal role in education and helped implement the law.
Prior to joining the White House in January 2001, Rees served as an education adviser
to the Bush campaign and helped draft the No Child Left Behind education blueprint
for the Bush/Cheney transition team. She also served as a senior aide on the education
platform committee at the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia.
From 1997 to 2001, she served as the chief education analyst for The Heritage Foundation.
She was the Foundation's lead author and spokesperson on education and worked closely
with members of Congress and state legislatures on policy proposals aimed at reforming
federal education programs and aiding disadvantaged students. She has testified before
Congress on a number of education issues, including the benefits of school choice
for low-income students. She was the 1999 recipient of the Foundation's Rita Ricardo
Campbell Award because of her "outstanding contributions to the analysis and
promotion of the Free Society."
Prior to joining Heritage, Rees served as director of outreach programs at the Institute
for Justice and as a Policy Analyst at Americans for Tax Reform. She spent two years
on the staff of Representative Porter Goss, R-Fla., while earning her master's degree
in International Transactions from George Mason University. She received her bachelor's
degree in psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in
Rees has been a frequent media commentator on education issues. Her articles and
views have appeared in various national newspapers and magazines, including Business
Week, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street
Journal, The Washington Post and The Weekly Standard. She has also
appeared on CBS's Early Show and Evening News, CNN's Inside Politics
and Talk Back Live, C-Span's Washington Journal, Fox Morning News,
Fox News Channel's Special Report and O'Reilly Factor, Lifetime
Live, MSNBC's Equal Time and PBS's NewsHour.
A native of Iran, which she left at age 14, Rees is fluent in French and Farsi.\
U.S. Office of Innovation and Improvement
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