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James Manning, a former acting secretary of education and top executive at the Office of Federal Student Aid, will head to the lobbying and advocacy firm Penn Hill Group, the firm announced Thursday.

Manning was an early appointee of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who named him to the acting under secretary post in April 2017. He previously served in the Education Department during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. Former officials saw Manning as a steady hand at a time when the Trump administration was struggling to add experienced staffers at the agency.

Last year, he took over as chief executive officer of FSA, the office responsible for handling disbursement and management of the federal government’s student loan portfolio. DeVos picked Mark Brown, a retired U.S. Air Force major general, to replace the departing Manning.