July 14, 2024

Alumni speaker chosen for commencement ceremony

Troy R. Justesen, the assistant secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, will serve as the College of Eastern Utah’s 69th commencement speaker on Saturday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. in the BDAC.

Troy R. Justesen, the assistant secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, will serve as the College of Eastern Utah’s 69th commencement speaker on Saturday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. in the BDAC.
He serves as the principal adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on departmental matters related to career, technical and adult education; high schools; lifelong learning; and community colleges as well as workforce and economic development. He also serves as the Department of Education’s senior representative on matters related to new Americans with the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Interagency Aerospace Revitalization Task Force.
Justesen served in several other roles in the Bush administration. He is the former associate director for domestic policy at the White House where he was responsible for disability policy and Native American and Pacific Islander policy on all matters except gaming policy. He is the former deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the former director of Special Education Programs and the former deputy commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration within the department.
In the mid-1990s working at the U.S. Department of Justice, Justesen was assigned lead oversight of the design and construction of sporting venue stadiums for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Ga., which at that time, was the largest investigation of its kind.
Early in 2007, Justesen was appointed to lead two U.S. foreign delegations, one to France before the United Nations Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development and one to the Kingdom of Denmark. He has published and lectured in the fields of education law and policy, health care policy and international human rights at several of the nation’s leading universities.
Justesen was born in Price and raised in Orangeville. He is a 1986 graduate of Emery High, a 1987 CEU graduate, and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1989 cum laude, and master’s degree from Utah State. He received his doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University. He keeps a home in Emery County where he maintains his residency.