DECA Alum Joins Office of Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education

Albert Palacios recently joined Office of Vocational Education’s Division of Academic and Technical Education (DATE) as an education program specialist in the College and Career Transitions Branch. He will manage the Rigorous Program of Study grants and provide subject matter expertise in the areas of technology, communications, manufacturing, marketing, finance, business, transportation, and STEM. Prior to joining OVAE, Palacios was the lead labor policy analyst at Bloomberg Government during the launch of its online information service. While there, he led a team of analysts who studied economic data and the impact of federal legislation and regulation on business, employment, and wages.

Palacios’ professional pathway began at his high school in Austin, Tex., where he became president of the DECA chapter. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. This step led Palacios to a 13-year career in banking that encompassed financial reporting, audits and investigations, marketing, and developing information systems.

While working in banking, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1997 he relocated to the Washington, D.C. area to work at DTI Associates on OVAE's School-to-Work initiative. His most recent contractual engagement with the Department was with the Office of Postsecondary Education where he managed the peer review process for discretionary grants. As a senior content advisor at Command Decisions Systems and Solutions (CDS2), he facilitated rulemaking sessions from 2006 to 2010. These included negotiations on safe harbors for proprietary institutions, accreditation, student loan repayment, and other provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Palacios also served in a term appointment as a workforce development specialist in the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Office of Workforce Investment supporting reemployment efforts under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). His work at ETA focused on developing a framework for collecting and disseminating best practices in workforce development.

In his spare time, he enjoys working on automobiles, outdoor photography, travel, audio and video production, social anthropology, and quantum physics.

This article first appeared in OVAE Connection, Issue 130. Reprinted with permission.

Categories: Alumni, Profiles