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Secretary Duncan Announces Assistant Secretaries for the Department of Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary Arne Duncan praised President Barack Obama's intent to nominate the following individuals as Assistant Secretaries for the Department of Education: Carmel Martin, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development; and Peter Cunningham, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach.

Secretary Duncan said: "Carmel has been a tremendous leader and extraordinary advocate for improving education in our country and her vast policy experience will be a great asset to the department. And Peter's judgment and candor -- coupled with his significant knowledge of the educational world -- proved invaluable during my tenure at the Chicago Public Schools and I am eager to begin working with him in my role as Secretary of Education.
I am honored to have these outstanding individuals as part of our team and very much look forward to working with them."

The following announcements were made today:


Carmel Martin has an extensive background in the education field. In the mid-90s, Martin was an Associate in the Education Group with Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. After her tenure there counseling school districts, colleges and universities, Martin moved to the United States Department of Justice where she focused on enforcing key provisions of Civil Rights Act. She has served as Counsel to both Senator Tom Daschle and Senator Jeff Bingaman before becoming the Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress in 2004. Martin's most recent work has been with Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2005 until December 2008. As Chief Education Advisor, she has counseled the Senator on all education issues and also led negotiations on all education legislation. Martin received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law and also has a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She received her B.A. in Economics and International Studies from Manhattan College.


Peter Cunningham is the founder and President of Cunningham Communications, a Chicago communications firm specializing in local government, politics and non-profits. Since its inception in 1997, their clients have included the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, Ariel Investments, Axelrod and Associates and the Regional Transportation Authority. Previously, Cunningham worked as a speechwriter and aide in the Office of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, the Illinois Attorney General's office and the Finance Committee for the Chicago City Council. He began his career as a reporter and writer for business and general interest publications including the Southampton Press. Cunningham received a B.A. in Philosophy at Duke University and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

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