Board of Trustees
Managing Partner at Emerson Collective
Trustee, Howard University Board of Trustees
The Honorable Arne Duncan served as the ninth US Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2015 under President Barack Obama. Mr. Duncan's tenure was marked by several significant accomplishments on behalf of American students and teachers. He helped to secure congressional support for President Obama's investments in education, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $100B to fund 325,000 teaching jobs, increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation, and interventions in low-performing schools. Additionally, he helped secure an additional $10B to avoid teacher layoffs; the elimination of student loan subsidies to banks; and a $500M national competition for early learning programs. The department also focused billions of dollars to transform struggling schools, prompting nearly 1,000 low-performing schools nationwide to recruit new staff, adopt new teaching methods, and add learning time. He led new efforts to encourage labor and management to work together as never before, and during Mr. Duncan's tenure, the department has launched a comprehensive effort to transform the teaching profession. Mr. Duncan helped secure increases in the Pell grant program to boost the number of young Americans attending college and receiving postsecondary degrees, and the income-based repayment program was also introduced during Mr. Duncan's tenure.
Since his tenure as secretary, Mr. Duncan is managing partner at Emerson Collective and has returned to Chicago on a mission to improve the lives of young adults in his hometown. Established by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective is an organization dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential. Emerson Collective centers its work on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives. Through partnerships with local business leaders, community organizers, and nonprofit groups, Mr. Duncan aims to create job and life opportunities for disconnected youth between the ages of 17 and 24.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Duncan served as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. From 2001 to 2008, he won praise for uniting the city’s stakeholders behind an education agenda that included opening 100 new schools; expanding after-school, summer learning, early childhood, and college access programs; dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers; and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives. Mr. Duncan serves on the boards of: Ariel Capital Management; Aspen Institute; Communities in Schools; Lucas Museum; My Brother’s Keeper Alliance; National Association of Basketball Coaches; Pluralsight; Revolution Foods; Thrive-Chicago; and Catapult Learning, LLC. He also serves as Co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Mr. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, where he served as co-captain of the basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American.