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Throughout his five-decade career in education administration, Gordon Ambach has been working to strengthen education federalism from both the national and state perspectives. During the early years, 1956 to 1964, as an intern and later as a legislative specialist in the U.S. Office of Education, he worked on implementation of National Defense Education Act (NDEA) and the development of federal legislation which led to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other early education acts under President Johnson. From 1967 to 1987, as executive deputy commissioner and later as New York State commissioner of education, he had the responsibility to advocate for federal education policy and to integrate federal programs with state services. In 1987, he returned to Washington as the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers and served as principal advocate for the Council with the Administration and U.S. Congress on the full range of education services. While with CCSSO, he served as U.S. Representative to the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, promoting cross-national comparisons of educational practice and student performance, and learning about the increasing impact of global developments on U.S. education. Since retiring from CCSSO in 2001, he has served on several non-profit boards and devoted energies to support education leadership and more effective education federalism strategies.