(Washington, D.C.)—Michael Zola, currently the associate executive director for federal advocacy and public policy at the National School Boards Association (NSBA), has been appointed vice president for government relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). His appointment is effective August 1.
In announcing the appointment, AASCU President Muriel A. Howard said, “Michael’s experience in the federal legislative and executive branches will help us build on our strengths and advance our federal and state relations agenda in service to our members and their students.
“His commitment to access aligns with AASCU’s philosophy that we are an association whose membership delivers on America’s promise of opportunities for all.”
Prior to joining NSBA, Zola’s experience includes more than 25 years in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. He served as deputy staff director & senior counsel, Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives; deputy assistant secretary, Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, U.S. Department of Education; chief investigative counsel, Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives; and senior attorney, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Remarking on his appointment, Zola said, "Education makes a difference in every life it touches; it certainly changed mine. I'm honored to join the AASCU team that strives to extend that opportunity to everyone."
AASCU Board of Directors Chair Stephen Jordan, president of Metropolitan State University of Denver, said, “Michael Zola brings the right combination of advocacy, policy and member-engagement experience that will significantly advantage AASCU as we look at the challenges we face in serving public higher education and our membership.”
Zola earned his law degree, cum laude, from the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, a Master of Public and International Affairs degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Bachelor of Arts from Rider University.
Zola succeeds Ed Elmendorf, AASCU’s senior vice president for government relations and policy analysis, who will begin a five-month sabbatical with a portfolio of special projects prior to his retirement in December.
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.