DeVos Appoints Free Speech Advocate As Higher Education Senior Staff


By Rob Shimshock

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appointed a senior staff member Tuesday that has a track record of defending free speech and other civil liberties on college campuses.

DeVos appointed Adam Kissel as deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs in the Office of Postsecondary Education. Kissel has worked for both the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF), organizations with histories of fighting for free speech on campus, according to Reason.

An English grad from Harvard University, Kissel worked for FIRE from 2007 to 2012, directing the organization’s Individual Rights Defense Program and serving as its vice president of programs. He also served as the program officer for higher education at the CKF for the past five years.

Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray stated that he found Kissel’s appointment “concerning,” given Kissel’s support of requiring alleged sexual assault survivors to provide more evidence during a sexual assault case.

“I am deeply troubled this hire is another concerning sign that President Trump plans to make it more difficult for survivors of campus sexual violence to get justice,” said Murray. “If there was ever a President who needed to take issues of sexual assault more seriously, it’s President Trump.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to the Department of Education for comment, but received none in time for publication.

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