Department of Education hiring two top communications officials amid outreach to disadvantaged communities

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The Department of Education is set to make two top hires to prop up its communications team, amid a push to expand the agency’s service to historically disadvantaged communities.

Secretary Miguel Cardona is due to announce Monday Lynda Lopez as a senior adviser and Branden Cobb as deputy assistant secretary for creative content.

Lopez, who is leaving her position as anchor and special projects reporter at WCBS NewsRadio in New York, interviewed Cardona in April about the department’s efforts to get kids back in school following pandemic shutdowns.

In the interview, Cardona focused the pandemic’s ill effects on students from diverse backgrounds.

Lopez, a widely recognized Hispanic broadcaster, previously held an anchor and reporter position at ABC News.

She also held a key role in Nuyorican Productions, a company founded by her sister, pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez, and producer Benny Medina.

Cobb, meanwhile, will join Cardona’s team from aerospace giant BAE Systems, where he led the company’s digital strategy.

Cobb is a former journalist who covered 9/11 for New York City’s ABC7 Eyewitness News, winning a Peabody Award.

As an editor at outlets in New York and Virginia, Cobb led coverage on a range of issues including the Trayvon Martin trial and the Newtown school shooting.

After his work as a journalist, Cobb moved into digital content management, working for the New York Guardians of the short-lived XFL football league before joining BAE.

Cardona’s new top hires come as the department is seeking new ways to interact with its minority constituencies, many of which were harder hit by school closures during the pandemic on top of being historically underserved in the education system.

— Updated at 8:46 a.m.

Tags Department of Education historically disadvantaged communities Miguel Cardona

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