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Agency Leadership

Agency Leadership

Peter Blake

Director Peter Blake


Peter A. Blake joined the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) as interim director in 2011 and became director in January 2012. Blake previously worked at SCHEV as an associate director overseeing higher education analyses in the areas of faculty and staff compensation, higher education funding policies, academic libraries, distance learning and instructional technology, and student financial aid. 

Blake left SCHEV in 1999 to serve as the legislative fiscal analyst for the Virginia General Assembly’s House Appropriations Committee. From 2002-2006 he was deputy secretary of education and secretary of education under former Governor Mark Warner. He later served as the vice chancellor of workforce development services for the Virginia Community College System, where he led policy and budget development for state and federal workforce programs. 

In July 2015, Blake was elected chair of the executive committee of SHEEO (State Higher Education Executive Officers), the national association for chief executives of statewide governing, policy and coordinating boards of postsecondary education. He had served as SHEEO’s treasurer and chair of its budget and finance subcommittee.
Blake has served on boards of organizations including LEAD Virginia, the Virginia Commonwealth University Alumni Association, the Richmond Public Library, the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Blake completed the Virginia Executive Institute and LEAD Virginia programs, as well as the Associates program through the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. He recently completed The Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University.


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Ellie Boyd

Budget and Finance Director

Ellie Boyd accepted the position of Budget and Finance Director for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in September, 2004. Her position is responsible for ensuring adequate evaluation, management and control of all SCHEV’s financial resources. Additional duties include budget development, interpretation of policies and procedures, providing guidance to staff to ensure compliance of policies and procedures, internal control and risk management and serving on the Executive Staff team.

Ellie came to SCHEV after working at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan for over 14 years. Her position at the College of Education and Human Services at Ferris had similar responsibilities as her current position. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Ferris along with a Master’s in Information Systems Management and is a certified Virginia Contracting Associate.

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Joseph G. DeFilippo

Director of Academic Affairs and Planning

Dr. Joseph DeFilippo has served as the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s (SCHEV) Director of Academic Affairs and Planning since 2006. Dr. DeFilippo provides leadership and coordination for state academic policies relating to public institutions of higher education, including institutional program approval, transfer and articulation, program productivity, changes of mission statement, and new instructional sites. He also oversees SCHEV’s office of Postsecondary and Out of State Postsecondary Education (POPE), which authorizes certain private and out of state institutions to operate in Virginia.

Before coming to SCHEV, Dr. DeFilippo served as Assistant Provost and head of the Office of Academic Programs and Planning at the State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration. He has held teaching appointments in classics and philosophy at a number of institutions, including The Ohio State University, Cornell University, and The University of North Dakota. Dr. DeFilippo has published scholarship on a variety of topics in Greek and Roman philosophy. Dr. DeFilippo has earned a bachelor’s degree in classics from Cornell University, and master’s and PhD degrees in classics from Princeton University.

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Alan Edwards

Director of Policy Studies

Dr. Alan Edwards was named Director of Policy Studies for the State Council of Higher Education effective January 2006. He previously served as the Assistant Director of the agency's Academic Affairs and Planning section. As Director of Policy Studies, Dr. Edwards’ responsibilities include policy research projects, supporting the leadership team through self-directed environmental scanning, interpreting data to develop meaningful policy recommendations, and identifying relevant implications for Commonwealth citizens.

Dr. Edwards holds a doctorate degree in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership from the College of William and Mary, as well as a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the 2001 recipient of the William and Mary School of Education’s Margaret the Lady Thatcher Medallion for character, scholarship, and service. Dr. Edwards received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association in 2004. 

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Wendy Kang

Finance Policy and Innovation Director

Wendy Kang was hired in a newly created role as the Director of Higher Education Innovation with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in June 2014. Ms. Kang also assumed the role of Finance Policy Director in December 2018.

Ms. Kang’s responsibilities include researching and identifying activities and initiatives that will enhance the quality of higher education for Virginians and improve operational efficiencies, supporting collaborations among postsecondary institutions that involve innovative practices, and engaging in partnerships with secondary education, economic development, workforce development and business that align with the strategic goals of SCHEV.  

Prior to joining SCHEV, Ms. Kang worked at the Virginia Community College System as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Workforce Research and Evaluation where she led a team responsible for federal and state reporting related to workforce; evaluation of workforce programs; monitoring of federal grants; and coordination of data across multiple agencies operating workforce programs in Virginia.  Before joining the community college system, Ms. Kang worked as a senior analyst with the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC), which included working on studies related to secondary education, workforce development, Medicaid, and child protective services.  

Ms. Kang holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bentley University. Ms. Kang also served as a math teacher and small business development trainer in the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa.

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Tod Massa

Policy Analytics Director

Tod Massa started at SCHEV in 2001 with nearly a decade of experience in policy research and analysis, and data management. As Policy Analytics Director, Mr. Massa oversees the development and of the Commonwealth’s postsecondary education data system; the biennial projections of enrollment and demand; and is one of the architects and leaders of the Virginia Longitudinal Data System. His wide-ranging duties also include directing the collection, maintenance, and analysis of research data from all Virginia colleges and universities related to enrollment, graduation, faculty salaries, and financial aid. He directs the agency's information systems activities and coordinates the agency’s relationship with the Virginia Information Technology Agency. He also serves as the Continuity of Operations Director for SCHEV.  

Mr. Massa frequently serves on federal technical review panels for the US Department of Education.   Prior to joining the Council staff, Mr. Massa held institutional research leadership positions at two institutions of higher education. From 1991 to 1994, he served as the Institutional Research Coordinator and Academic Policy Analyst at Saint Louis University. Most recently, Mr. Massa served as the Director of Institutional Research and Planning Support at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Prior to joining the staff at Willamette, Mr. Massa served in the U.S. Army and was twice awarded the Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement and the Army Achievement Medal for outstanding service.  

Mr. Massa has completed doctoral work in Public Policy Analysis and Planning at Saint Louis University. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art from Missouri Southern State College.  Mr. Massa has also received the Association for Institutional Research’s “Outstanding Service Award” for service to the association in 2000. 

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Laura Osberger

Laura Osberger currently serves as the Senior Associate for Communications and Outreach at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). She is responsible for the management of media relations, external outreach efforts, strategic communications planning, web and design initiatives and internal communications.

Prior to SCHEV, Laura worked in communications at the Virginia Community College System, Philip Morris USA and Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations (now Padilla). Laura also owned her own communications firm for nearly nine years. Her specialties include strategic planning, media relations, writing, editing, community engagement and event planning. Laura earned a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University.

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Beverly Rebar

Ms. Beverly Rebar began her work at SCHEV in May 2008 as a Policy Analyst for Academic Affairs and Planning. In 2016, she became the Senior Associate for Academic and Legislative Affairs. In her role for Academic Affairs, she serves as liaison to advisory committees that are focused on targeted issues of interest to the Council, including the Military Education Advisory Committee, the Open Virginia Advisory Committee, and the Library Advisory Committee and assists in the develop of academic  policies. In the legislative arena, she tracks and analyzes legislative proposals related to higher education, coordinates with the institutions to collect and compile effective responses, and communicates with policy makers about higher education priorities and activities.

Ms. Rebar holds a Juris Doctor from the College of William & Mary and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Maryland. Prior to coming to SCHEV, she practiced indigent criminal defense in Virginia Beach and spent a year as a budget analyst for the Department of Legislative Services in the Maryland General Assembly.

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Paula Robinson

Associate Director for Equity and Engagement

Paula Robinson has been administering grants to drive societal change since 1997. Her current role as the Associate Director of Equity and Engagement at SCHEV provides her with the opportunity to couple her professional grants management experience with her personal belief that education can be a “great equalizer” as she works to shape policy and develop programs and initiatives that increase advanced equity within higher education and post-secondary access for all Virginians.

Paula is a graduate of James Madison University (B.S.) and received her master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University.

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