State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) has been unanimously elected as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, PHEAA is one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations. It serves millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs.

“I am honored to be unanimously elected as chair by my fellow board members,” Sen. Fontana said. “The members of this board bring a wealth of higher education, financial, and business experience to PHEAA’s goal of making higher education more affordable for Pennsylvania students and their families.”

The Brookline lawmaker has represented the 42nd Senatorial District in Allegheny County since 2005 and is the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He also serves on the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development; Finance; Local Government; Rules & Executive Nominations; and Urban Affairs & Housing committees.

First appointed to the PHEAA Board in 2009, Sen. Fontana had served as its vice-chairman since 2011. Sen. Fontana has worked to strengthen state support for PHEAA and higher education over the years.