Staff Bios

Michael Hawes

Michael Hawes is the Director of the Student Privacy Policy and Assistance Division (SPPAD) for the U.S. Department of Education. SPPAD is responsible for developing policy and guidance on long-standing and emerging student privacy policy issues, and for providing general and targeted technical assistance to educational agencies and institutions, and the broader education community on issues relating to statutory and regulatory compliance, as well as best practices for protecting student privacy beyond compliance with Federal requirements.

Prior to becoming the Director of Student Privacy Policy, Michael served for five years as the Department’s Statistical Privacy Advisor, advising ED’s Chief Privacy Officer and senior leadership on issues relating to data privacy, data governance, and statistical disclosure limitation. Before joining the Department of Education, Michael served as a statistician and policy analyst for the U.S. Census Bureau, focusing on data stewardship and data management. Michael is a statistician, a Project Management Institute-certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an International Association of Privacy Professionals Certified Information Privacy Professional/Government (CIPP/G).

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Deputy Director of the of the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO).  FPCO administers the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Protections of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).  Prior to joining FPCO in 2013, he was a program specialist in the Office of Special Education Programs.  Before beginning his federal career in 2011, Frank had several years of State-level experience, including 6 years as Division Chief in the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning where he had fiscal, operations and monitoring, and data management responsibilities for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Part B/619 programming; and 9 years in regulatory administration and program compliance with the PA Department of Health.  In addition, Frank had local-level experience as a children and youth caseworker, and program manager for community living arrangements for individuals with disabilities. 

Ross Lemke (Contractor)

Ross Lemke serves as the manager for the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with over 10 years of experience providing TA around education data.   He helps state and local education agencies, schools, districts and postsecondary institutions develop an understanding of FERPA, privacy and data security.  He provides timely support through the PTAC helpdesk, on-site technical assistance visits and development of technical guidance documents and live webinars.  Prior to his work with PTAC Ross has provided TA around numerous U.S. Department of Education data collections including EDFacts, Civil Rights Data Collection and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Mike Tassey (Contractor)

Mike Tassey serves as the Data Security Advisor for the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with over 15 years of information security experience. He helps state and local education agencies, schools, districts and postsecondary institutions develop strong FERPA compliant information security programs and decrease the risk to education data, including student records, through on-site technical assistance visits, risk assessments, development of technical guidance documents and live webinars. Before joining PTAC, Mike served in a variety of senior technical roles for federal agencies, the military and intelligence communities, and as a consultant to major financial and critical infrastructure organizations.

Eric Gray (Contractor)

Eric Gray is a subject matter expert for the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with five years of experience working in the Student Privacy space.   He helps state and local education agencies, schools, districts and postsecondary institutions develop an understanding of FERPA, privacy and data security.  He provides timely support through the PTAC helpdesk, on-site technical assistance visits and review of technical documents submitted by stakeholders and conducting webinars.  He has also been developing approaches for new training materials for PTAC aimed at different stakeholder groups.   Prior to working with PTAC, Eric provided technical support for states, districts and schools during the 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection and previously supported local school districts with their data collections at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Sean Cottrell (Contractor)

Sean Cottrell is a subject matter expert for the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) with over 10 years of experience working in the information security and identity services industry.  He provides timely support through the PTAC helpdesk, on-site technical assistance visits, development of technical guidance documents, review of technical documents submitted by stakeholders and conducting webinars.  Sean joins PTAC from the state of Wisconsin, where he served for  3 years as the Data Governance Coordinator and Privacy Officer for the Department of Public Instruction.