Former Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray has been appointed to a new position in the administration of President Joe Biden, where he will oversee the federal government’s $1.6 trillion portfolio of student loans and financial aid programs at the U.S. Department of Education. This is according to original reporting at Politico.
Cordray’s official position within the Education Department will be to lead the Office of Federal Student Aid, and his appointment was revealed on Monday by newly-confirmed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
“I am thrilled that Richard Cordray will be joining the Department of Education as the Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid,” Secretary Cardona said in the announcement. “Cordray has a strong track record as a dedicated public servant who can tackle big challenges and get results. I am confident that under his leadership, Federal Student Aid will provide the kind of service that our students, families, and schools deserve.”
Cordray has abundant experience in addressing issues related to federal student aid and student loans during his time at CFPB, in which he worked closely with the Department of Education under the administration of President Barack Obama. The top official in the CFPB charged with handling student loan issues at that time was Rohit Chopra, who is President Biden’s nominee to serve as the next full-time CFPB Director, and with whom Cordray already has a close working relationship, he says.
“[I]n many ways, I think this is a perfect opportunity for us to make very good progress forward on thinking about how we finance and make available higher education in the United States to people for whom it’s more and more a critical step forward in their lives,” Cordray told Politico in an interview.
Cordray’s selection for this position is described as a “major victory” for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Politico says, “who have been calling on the Biden administration to take more aggressive action on student loans and for-profit colleges,” the reporting reads.
Cordray’s selection for this position was also advocated for by Massachusetts Senator and CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren, who told Politico that he would “apply his fearlessness and expertise to protecting student loan borrowers [and will bring] much needed accountability to the federal student loan program.”
Cordray, who served as the CFPB’s inaugural director from 2012-2017, served roughly 10 months into the administration of President Donald Trump before resigning from his post, which sparked a contentious legal battle over who would succeed him at the agency. Cordray also revealed that he believes he was nearly fired by Trump after receiving impromptu notice of a previously-unscheduled phone call, which itself was abruptly canceled before ever taking place.
Read the story at Politico.