A UC Regent will assume the post of California’s Secretary of Education, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday.

Regent Bonnie Reiss, 54, is a Democrat and currently resides in Los Angeles. She will receive $175,000 compensation for her work, and will not need to be confirmed for the position by the state senate.

UC President Mark Yudof applauded the governor’s choice.

“This is terrific news for California,” Yudof said in a press release. “The governor could not have made a better choice. As a University of California regent, Bonnie has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to and passion for the cause of public education. Now more than ever, we need an effective ally in Sacramento, and Bonnie certainly will be all that and more.”

According to a statement from the governor’s office, the Secretary of Education, as the main advisor on educational matters to the governor, is given the mandate to create, promote and support the governor’s policies to provide a respectable education for all Californians.

In a press statement, Reiss said she plans to take her new role very seriously.

“I enthusiastically support the Governor’s priorities for education and his commitment to seeing that every child receives a great education that allows them to achieve their dreams,” Reiss said. “I believe that every door opened to me in my life has been because of education, and I am committed to working to ensure that all children have the tools they need to achieve success.”

Among other involvements, Reiss has served as operating advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisors since 2007, worked as a senior education advisor to Schwarzenegger from 2003 to 2007, and has also done stints as an accountant, producer and writer.

Reiss was awarded the William S. White Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Education in 2007 for her support of public education, and received the Advocate of the Year Award from the UC Student Association in 2006.