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Arne Duncan

Government Official

Born: 6 November 1964
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: U.S. Secretary of Education, 2009-2015
Arne Duncan was the U.S. Secretary of Education from 2009-15. Teaching runs in Arne Duncan's family: his mother, Sue Duncan, has run an independent early-learning center for children on Chicago's South Side, and his father was a professor at the University of Chicago. Arne Duncan went to Harvard University, where he was co-captain of the basketball team before graduating with a sociology degree in 1987. He played pro basketball in Australia from 1987-91. Arne Duncan then returned to Chicago and in 1992, along with his sister, helped create Ariel Community Academy, a new charter public school which he ran for six years. He became director of the magnet school program for Chicago Public Schools in 1998 and in 2001 was named chief executive officer -- the equivalent of superintendent -- of Chicago's public schools. His friend and fellow Chicagoan, Barack Obama, was elected president in 2008 and then named Duncan as Secretary of Education. Duncan served in the role until resigning at the end of 2015. In 2016 he began a new role with the Emerson Collective, an educational group founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Extra credit:

Arne Duncan’s first name is pronounced ar-NEE… Arne Duncan met his wife, Karen, in Australia. She is from Tasmania, and they have two children, Claire and Ryan… The Ariel Community Academy was later incorporated and renamed as the Ariel Education Initiative, or AEI. The original initiative was supported by John W. Rogers, Jr. chairman and founder of Ariel Investments… Arne Duncan is 6’5″ tall, according to a 2008 report in Time magazine.

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