Arne Duncan was confirmed as President Obama's Secretary of Education on January 20, 2009. For the past seven years, Duncan, 44, served as chief executive of Chicago's public schools, the country's third largest school district. During Mr. Obama's campaign, Duncan helped craft his new boss' educational policies.
Duncan and Mr. Obama share a mutual love of basketball. As co-captain of Harvard's basketball team, Duncan was named an academic All-American. The 6 foot 5 inch Duncan played professional basketball in Australia from 1987 to 1991.
Duncan, who hails from a family of educators, received his undergraduate degree in sociology from Harvard University in1987. Prior to spearheading Chicago's school system, he was Executive Director of Ariel Education Initiative, an organization that works to improve educational opportunities for children in Chicago's South Side.