The country may soon see a new top special education official.

President Joe Biden said late last week that he will nominate Glenna Gallo to serve as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education.

Gallo is currently the assistant superintendent of special education for the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Prior to that, Gallo was the state director of special education for the Utah State Board of Education and she worked as a classroom teacher and administrator.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“She has over 25 years of public education experience supporting students with disabilities and adults entering and within the teaching profession, and 16 years of experience in state-level educational leadership with expertise in the improvement planning, data analysis and monitoring of public pre-K-12+ special education programs,” the White House said.

This marks Biden’s first appointment to the post, which is responsible for the federal government’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws.

Since July, Deputy Assistant Secretary Katherine Neas has been serving as acting assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

“This nomination shows a deep commitment from this administration to ensure our nation’s students with disabilities receive the services and supports they need to reach their potential. Glenna brings decades of deep expertise in special education and a strong record of supporting students with disabilities to this role,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said of Gallo. “Glenna’s commitment to supporting the special education community will be instrumental in shaping and implementing the department’s goals and strategies.”

Gallo, who will need to be confirmed by the Senate in order to officially take on the job of assistant secretary, called the nomination “an honor.”

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue supporting people with disabilities, their families, and school district and state personnel with special education and rehabilitation services,” she said.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.