Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Arne Duncan served as secretary of education for seven years, from 2009 to the end of 2015. Since 2016, Duncan has been the Managing Partner of Chicago CRED, a nonprofit that serves roughly 500 of the young men most at risk of shooting or being shot in Chicago. Through multiple public and private partnerships, Chicago CRED seeks both to expand economic opportunities for at-risk young males and develop targeted neighborhood-based strategies for stopping violence, with the goal of reducing gun violence by 80 percent in five years.

Duncan’s multifaceted career passions include not only curbing gun violence and expanding educational opportunity, but also extend to college and professional basketball. At Harvard University, Duncan was co-captain of the basketball team and a first team Academic All-American. From there, he went on to play professional basketball from 1987 to 1991 in Australia, where he also tutored children who were wards of the state. In subsequent years, he has been the MVP of the 2014 NBA Celebrity All-Star Basketball game and a member of the 3-on-3 national champions Hoop it Up team. Duncan was first appointed as co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics in January 2016 and served through December 2023.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for eight years. Before taking the CEO helm at CPS, Duncan ran the nonprofit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative from 1992 to 1998, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the “I Have A Dream” program.

Duncan is currently a managing partner of the Emerson Collective, which is affiliated with Chicago CRED.