Maximizing government-wide collaborative efforts directed towards Minority Serving Institutions.

Executive Orders

Federal agencies derive authority to conduct Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Programs from several Presidential Executive Orders and Congressionally Legislated Acts. The Department of Education coordinates and supports four major President’s Boards of Advisors and Advisory Commissions and White House Initiatives for MSIs and the communities they serve.

 Tribal Colleges and Universities

President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13511 on September 29, 2009 to continue the Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other Advisory Committees until September 30, 2020. The Board advises the President under Executive Order 13270 on national policy regarding the tribal colleges and universities that serve Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities.

Executive Order 13270 notes that Tribal colleges are both integral and essential to their communities. Often they are the only postsecondary institutions within some of our Nation’s poorest rural areas. They fulfill a vital role: in maintaining and preserving irreplaceable languages and cultural traditions; in offering a high-quality college education to younger students; and in providing job training and other career-building programs to adults and senior citizens. Tribal colleges provide crucial services in communities that continue to suffer high rates of unemployment and the resulting social and economic distress.

The White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities leads the implementation of the Executive Order, ensuring that the nation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities are more fully recognized and have full access to federal programs benefiting other higher education institutions.

Dr. William Mendoza, Acting Executive Director

Pamela DeRensis, Program Director

Information on the White House Initiative and the Executive Order on Tribal Colleges and Universities can be found at the following website:

 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order for “Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in Federal Programs” on October 14, 2009. The White House Initiative for AAPIs, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and Education, is designed to improve Federal efforts to develop, monitor, and coordinate executive branch efforts to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to and participation in federal programs in which they may be underserved. With guidance from the President’s Advisory Commission, the AAPI Initiative will:

  • Foster the recruitment, career development, and advancement of AAPIs in the Federal Government.
  • Improve the health, environment, opportunity, and well-being of AAPIs.
  • Increase public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the health, environment, opportunity, and well-being of AAPIs.
  • Foster evidence-based research, data collection, and analysis on AAPI populations and subpopulations, including research and data on public health, environment, education, housing, employment, and other economic indicators of AAPI community wellbeing.
  • Solicit public input from AAPI communities on ways to increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Federal programs considering a number of factors, including language barriers.

Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director

Ryan Edgar, Advisor on Pacific Islander Outreach

The Executive Order and further information on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can be found at the following websites:

 Historically Black Colleges and Universities

On February 26, 2019, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13532 for “Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities” (HBCUs) that provides guidance to agencies to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs. The Executive Order also mandates the identification and improved participation in agency programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources and encouragement of public-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., Executive Director

Ronald E. Blakely, Associate Director

Meldon Hollis, Associate Director

Karen Epps, Senior Program Manager

President Obama’s speech on “Recognizing What Historically Black Colleges and Universities Mean to America” and signing ceremony with the new President’s Board of Advisors, the new Executive Order further information the Initiative can be found on the web at:

Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans

President Barack Obama is expected to sign an Executive Order for a new 25-member Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans in the Spring of 2019. Feedback from open dialogues in nearly 90 “Community Conversations” played an integral role in the creation of the new executive order that will govern the work of the White House Initiative.

Since June 2009, the White House Initiative engaged more than 6,000 representatives from the entire P-20 spectrum, including students, parents, educators, administrators, Latino business and community leaders, government and elected officials, Hispanic- and Minority-Serving Institutions, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations. Half- and full-day Community Conversations were held at community colleges, universities, and nonprofit and community organizations in 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to gauge the current school climate in Hispanic communities nationwide.

The Community Conversations among White House Initiative staff and members of the local communities had a threefold purpose:

  1. To introduce (or reintroduce) the White House Initiative to the Latino community;
  2. To hear key challenges and priorities named by community members on the frontlines of the entire education system—from early childhood and K-12 to higher education and adult education and beyond—as it specifically related to the Latino community; and
  3. To enlist individuals and organizations to join the White House Initiative and its national network of best practices and action, effectively partnering together with others across the country to work on these key issues.

Juan Sepúlveda, Director

José Rico, Deputy Director

Updates on the White House Initiative on the Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans, are posted at: