Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced that Eva-Marie Mancuso will withdraw her waiver request to the Rhode Island Ethics Commission to be interim Commissioner of Higher Education. Instead, she will continue in her role as the Chair of the Board of Education where she oversees the ongoing efforts of the Board.
Governor Chafee also is recommending that Clark Greene, Chief of Staff for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, be temporarily loaned to the Office of Higher Education to assist the Board in fulfilling its statutory mandates. Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Deborah Gist has agreed that should the Board approve this proposal. In his capacity at OHE, Clark will oversee the day-to-day operations, design a process by which the Board will conduct a search for a full-time Commissioner, and support the Board in its legislatively mandated requirements to develop a new governance and administrative structure for higher education.
"Eva has done a great job of chairing the Board, and I want her to continue in that leadership position," Governor Chafee said. "She selflessly has embraced the task, and brought a vision for the future and an understanding that building a vital educational system is a critical tool in strengthening Rhode Island's economy. I am grateful that she will continue her hard work on behalf of the students of our state."
"Initially, I was hopeful that I could fill the Commissioner's position through obtaining a waiver, but have since decided to forego a waiver request," Eva-Marie Mancuso said. "I hope that we can now work quickly and effectively with assistance from Clark to implement the legislatively mandated changes."
Governor Chafee added, "During my administration, we have temporarily loaned several talented, high-level State employees from one agency to another with great success. For example, Lisa Holley from Rhode Island State Police, who led the revamping of the Rhode Island State Division of Motor Vehicles; Paul McGreevy, who righted the ship at the Economic Development Corporation while serving as the Director of the Department of Business Regulation; and Ray Studley from the State Police, who now is the Director of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority."
"Clark Greene is one of State government's talented employees. I am pleased that Clark has agreed to take on this challenge should the Board approve," Governor Chafee said. "It is imperative that our institutions of higher education have someone in place guiding the transition mandated by the legislature while the board conducts its search for a full-time Commissioner."
Clark Greene added, "I am confident that I can assist the Board in quickly and efficiently implementing the changes required statutorily so that the process is well under way when a permanent Commissioner is appointed." Clark Greene
Clark has taken the lead on the state's $50 million Race to the Top -- Early Learning Challenge grant. He has won praise for successfully coordinating the grant's activities across five state agencies and participating in the team that developed the winning $75 million Race to the Top proposal, a national competition to obtain funding to support K-12 education.
In addition to his work with the RIDE as the Chief of Staff, Clark in previous positions has worked on the development and implementation of the Rite Care program and participated in the reform of Rhode Island's welfare program and the development of the state's first child care program. He also served on the incident command policy and planning management teams for multiple health and safety emergencies, including the state's response to the H1N1 virus.
Clark has held leadership positions in Rhode Island government, as the Deputy Chief of staff for both Governor Donald Carcieri and Governor Lincoln Almond. He served as the Chief of Maternal and Child Health with the Department of Human Services and was a Planning Consultant with the Department of Health.
Clark holds a master's from George Washington University and a bachelor's from Hamilton College.