Kala Shah Surprenant
Prior to joining the Department, Kala represented individuals, private corporations and non-profit entities as a civil litigator. Kala was recruited to develop and launched the first three family law clinical programs when the District of Columbia Bar revamped its lawyer referral service to implement its pro bono program for needy families. Kala was selected for the competitive White House Leadership Development Program and graduated from the Excellence in Government Program sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service. She taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, published articles, and lectured at national conferences on legal and policy issues. Kala graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, and obtained her bachelor’s degree from New York University, Magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
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 federal student privacy law 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 conducts webinars and speaks at conferences. Sean joins PTAC from the state of Wisconsin, where he served as the Data Governance Coordinator and Privacy Officer for the Department of Public Instruction.