An Indian-American attorney who served as chief of staff to a Republican Congressman on Capitol Hill and worked in former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration, has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Education.
This Jan. 8, the Education Department announced it was hiring Dino Teppara as Special Assistant in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
“Proud to serve in the administration of President Donald J. Trump,” Teppara says on his LinkedIn profile.
Immediately before this latest appointment, Teppara served as a special education attorney in the South Carolina Department of Education from 2013 to 2018. His focus was on federal laws including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Rehabilitation Act, areas where he provided legal counsel and oversaw statewide contracts with public school districts and institutions of higher education.
Before that Teppara was the assistant executive director in the Appellate Division of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (2012-2013) in the administration of then Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley. He was responsible for legal and regulatory analysis, programmatic monitoring, investigations, improper payment identification and collection, compliance, and risk management.
Teppara was chief of staff and counsel to Congressman Joe Wilson, R-SC, from 2006-2008. During that time, he advised the congressman on all legislative and legal areas, assisted in the development of policy and oversaw ethics compliance, apart from directing all activities and staff of the Washington, D.C. and South Carolina offices.
At the same office of Rep. Wilson, Teppara previously served for five years (2001-2006) as legislative director and senior legislative assistant and attorney. He was a key player in engaging the Indian-American community and Rep. Wilson’s interaction with this community burgeoned during Teppara’s term in that office.
He is a graduate of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and did law at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.