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United States Secretary of Education
|United States Secretary of Education|
Seal of the Department of Education
Flag of the Secretary of Education
|United States Department of Education|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Seat||Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, Washington, D.C.|
|Appointer||President of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
|Constituting instrument||20 U.S.C. § 3411|
|Formation||November 30, 1979 (1979-11-30)|
|First holder||Shirley Hufstedler|
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of Education|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, Level I|
The United States secretary of education is the head of the U.S. Department of Education. The secretary serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States, and the federal government, on policies, programs, and activities related to all education in the United States. As a member of the Cabinet of the United States, the secretary is fifteenth in the line of succession to the presidency.
The current secretary of education is Phil Rosenfelt, who is serving in an acting capacity for Joe Biden as the Senate reviews the nomination of Miguel Cardona for the position. Rosenfelt succeeded Mick Zais, who served in an acting capacity, following the immediate resignation of Betsy DeVos. He also served as acting secretary of education from January 20, 2017 until February 7, 2017, when the senate confirmed DeVos.
The United States secretary of education is a member of the president's Cabinet and is the fifteenth in the United States presidential line of succession. This secretary deals with federal influence over education policy, and heads the United States Department of Education.
The secretary is advised by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, an advisory committee, on "matters related to accreditation and to the eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher education."
List of secretaries
Prior to the creation of the Department of Education in 1979, Education was part of the ambit of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
List of U.S. secretaries of health, education and welfare
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||President(s)|
|1||Oveta Culp Hobby||Texas||April 11, 1953||July 31, 1955||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|2||Marion B. Folsom||New York||August 2, 1955||July 31, 1958|
|3||Arthur S. Flemming||Ohio||August 1, 1958||January 19, 1961|
|4||Abraham A. Ribicoff||Connecticut||January 21, 1961||July 13, 1962||John F. Kennedy|
|5||Anthony J. Celebrezze||Ohio||July 31, 1962||August 17, 1965|
|Lyndon B. Johnson|
|6||John W. Gardner||California||August 18, 1965||March 1, 1968|
|7||Wilbur J. Cohen||Michigan||May 16, 1968||January 20, 1969|
|8||Robert H. Finch||California||January 21, 1969||June 23, 1970||Richard Nixon|
|9||Elliot L. Richardson||Massachusetts||June 24, 1970||January 29, 1973|
|10||Caspar W. Weinberger||California||February 12, 1973||August 8, 1975|
|11||F. David Mathews||Alabama||August 8, 1975||January 20, 1977|
|12||Joseph A. Califano Jr.||District of Columbia||January 25, 1977||August 3, 1979||Jimmy Carter|
|13||Patricia Roberts Harris||August 3, 1979||May 4, 1980|
List of U.S. secretaries of education
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||President|
|1||Shirley Hufstedler||California||November 30, 1979||January 20, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|2||Terrel Bell||Utah||January 22, 1981||January 20, 1985||Ronald Reagan|
|William Bennett||North Carolina||February 6, 1985||September 20, 1988|
|4||Lauro Cavazos||Texas||September 20, 1988||December 12, 1990|
|George H. W. Bush|
|Illinois||December 12, 1990||March 22, 1991|
|5||Lamar Alexander||Tennessee||March 22, 1991||January 20, 1993|
|6||Richard Riley||South Carolina||January 21, 1993||January 20, 2001||Bill Clinton|
|7||Rod Paige||Texas||January 20, 2001||January 20, 2005||George W. Bush|
|8||Margaret Spellings||January 20, 2005||January 20, 2009|
|9||Arne Duncan||Illinois||January 21, 2009||January 1, 2016||Barack Obama|
|10||John King Jr.||New York||January 1, 2016||March 14, 2016|
|March 14, 2016||January 20, 2017|
|Virginia||January 20, 2017||February 7, 2017||Donald Trump|
|11||Betsy DeVos||Michigan||February 7, 2017||January 8, 2021|
|South Carolina||January 8, 2021||January 20, 2021|
|Virginia||January 20, 2021||Incumbent||Joe Biden|
Living former secretaries
As of February 2021, there are nine living former secretaries of education (with all secretaries that have served since 1985 still living), the oldest being Lauro Cavazos (served 1988–1990, born 1927). The most recent secretary of education to die was Shirley Hufstedler (served 1979–1981, born 1925) on March 30, 2016. The most recently serving secretary to die was Terrel Bell (served 1981–1985, born 1921) on June 22, 1996.
|Name||Term||Date of birth (and age)|
|William Bennett||1985–1988||July 31, 1943|
|Lauro Cavazos||1988–1990||January 4, 1927|
|Lamar Alexander||1990–1993||July 3, 1940|
|Richard Riley||1993–2001||January 2, 1933|
|Rod Paige||2001–2005||June 17, 1933|
|Margaret Spellings||2005–2009||November 30, 1957|
|Arne Duncan||2009–2016||November 6, 1964|
|John King Jr.||2016–2017||January 5, 1975|
|Betsy DeVos||2017–2021||January 8, 1958|
- Wilson, Reid (October 20, 2013). "The Presidential order of succession". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- "US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements". United States Department of Education. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- NACIQI Staff (November 23, 2016). "Welcome". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Harris was Secretary on May 4, 1980, when the office changed names from Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to Secretary of Health and Human Services. Because the department merely changed names, she did not need to be confirmed again, and her term continued uninterrupted.
- "The Education Secretaries Miguel Cardona Would Follow". Education Writers Association. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
- Eilperin, Juliet; Layton, Lyndsey; Brown, Emma (October 2, 2015). "U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to step down at end of year". Washington Post. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of Energy
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Education
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
Secretary of Energy
|16th in line||Succeeded by
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
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