Andrea DeSantis, Ph.D. serves as Commerce's Assistant Secretary for Workforce Solutions, appointed to the position in April, 2024. She previously served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of Governor Roy Cooper, where she focused on issues of workforce development and higher education. Dr. DeSantis also served as a Senior Workforce Development Analyst at the NCWorks Commission (housed at the Department of Commerce), and as the Assistant Director of Research at NC State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research.

She has over a decade of experience working to enhance equitable access to postsecondary education and credits her service as an AmeriCorps VISTA participant with sparking her interest in this area. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Charleston, a Master of Arts from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. in Educational, Leadership, Policy, and Human Development from NC State University.

Dr. DeSantis currently lives in Cary, NC, with her husband and two young sons.