Hobbs Named Education Department Internal Communications Director
Patricia A. Hobbs has been named director of internal communications for the U.S. Department of Education, the Education Department announced today.
In her new position, Hobbs will coordinate internal communications for more than 4,700 employees across the Departments program offices at headquarters, as well as ten regional offices.
“Patty Hobbs is bringing my staff together and providing them with the kinds of essential information that they have lacked for far too long,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. “She will help ensure that our valued employees have an understanding of what their colleagues are doing, to help them work together and be more productive.”
Paige has tasked Hobbs with designing and putting into place a coordinated program of policy briefings; communications mechanisms such as a weekly report to staff dubbed Front Paige News; and seminars with guest speakers and special events to increase morale, bring diverse employees together and offer entertainment.
She has hit the ground running, Paige said, organizing monthly briefings with senior staff on the new No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and other special events for staff, such as a No Child Left Behind kick-off and jazz concert near headquarters. She also initiated a monthly opportunity for employeesLunch with the Secretarywhich brings staff together with the secretary to provide a forum for concerns and information on what they do.
In her new capacity, Hobbs coordinates with senior staff and hosts bi-weekly communications team meetings with staff from all program offices. Hobbs also serves as an informal source of information and a single point of contact for staff with general questions or concerns.
Hobbs, a 20-year federal employee, had worked on Capitol Hill and at the White House before coming to the Department of Education in 1985. She most recently chaired the national steering committee for the Improving Americas Schools conferences, and has worked in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. She grew up in Weaver, Ala., and received a B.S. and an M.S. in elementary education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala.