News Release

Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of education, joins Brookings

April 22, 2016

Washington, D.C. — Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of education, has joined the Brookings Institution, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today. Secretary Duncan will serve as a nonresident senior fellow in the Governance Studies program’s Brown Center on Education Policy.

Secretary Duncan comes to Brookings just months after stepping down from his post as the head of the U.S. Department of Education, where he helped steer President Obama’s investments in education—including approximately $100 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—to fund new teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts including Race to the Top, and interventions in low-performing schools.

“We are pleased that Secretary Duncan has chosen to continue his commitment to improving the lives of American youth through effective and equitable education policy at Brookings,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Institution.

Duncan will write original analyses and opinion pieces for The Brown Center Chalkboard, Brookings’s education policy blog, and participate in public events on relevant issues. In his first formal activity as a Brookings affiliate, Secretary Duncan will serve as a discussant at the A. Alfred Taubman Forum on charter schools on Tuesday, April 26. In addition to his role at Brookings, Duncan also serves as managing partner of the Emerson Collective, an organization that champions innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to the problems facing American schools.

“The Brown Center is proud to welcome Arne Duncan, who has demonstrated passionate leadership on education and youth development issues throughout his life and career,” said Darrell West, Vice President of Governance Studies at Brookings.  “The research and activities of the Brown Center will benefit greatly from his decades of experience shaping and implementing education policy, not just at the federal but at the state and local levels as well. His perspective will help the Brown Center generate fresh ideas and new approaches to the challenges facing American schools and communities.”

Duncan holds a B.A. from Harvard University, where he served as co-captain of the basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. Prior to being confirmed as secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and from 1992 to 1998, he ran the nonprofit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative. Before beginning his career in education, Secretary Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.