United States Secretary of Education

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United States Secretary of Education
Seal of the United States Department of Education.svg
Seal of the Department of Education
Flag of the United States Secretary of Education.svg
Flag of the Secretary of Education
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, official portrait.jpg
Miguel Cardona

since March 1, 2021
United States Department of Education
StyleMr. Secretary
The Honorable
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatLyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, Washington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument20 U.S.C. § 3411
FormationNovember 30, 1979; 43 years ago (1979-11-30)
First holderShirley Hufstedler
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Education
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I

The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet, and 16th in line of United States presidential line of succession. The United States Secretary of Education deals with Education.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter established the Department of Education as a cabinet-level agency. Previously, Education had been handled by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, henceforth known as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Chronological list[change | change source]


No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President
1 United States Secretary of Education Shirley Hufstedler at Miami-Dade Community College 1980-02-07 (cropped 2).jpg Shirley Hufstedler California November 30, 1979 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
2 TerrelBell.jpg Terrel Bell Utah January 22, 1981 January 20, 1985 Ronald Reagan
Bill Bennett by Gage Skidmore.jpg William Bennett North Carolina February 6, 1985 September 20, 1988
4 Cavazos.jpg Lauro Cavazos Texas September 20, 1988 December 12, 1990
George H. W. Bush
Portrait gray.png Ted Sanders
Illinois December 12, 1990 March 22, 1991
5 Lamar Alexander black and white photo.jpg Lamar Alexander Tennessee March 22, 1991 January 20, 1993
6 Richard Riley Official Department of Education Photo.jpg Richard Riley South Carolina January 21, 1993 January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
7 Rod Paige.jpg Rod Paige Texas January 20, 2001 January 20, 2005 George W. Bush
8 Margaret Spellings, official ed photo 3.jpg Margaret Spellings January 20, 2005 January 20, 2009
9 Arne Duncan official photo (cropped).jpg Arne Duncan[3] Illinois January 21, 2009 January 1, 2016 Barack Obama
10 John B. King official portrait (cropped2).jpg John King Jr.[3] New York January 1, 2016 March 14, 2016
March 14, 2016 January 20, 2017
Phil Rosenfelt (cropped).jpg Phil Rosenfelt
Virginia January 20, 2017 February 7, 2017 Donald Trump
11 Betsy DeVos official portrait (cropped).jpg Betsy DeVos Michigan February 7, 2017 January 8, 2021
Mick Zais official photo.jpg Mick Zais
South Carolina January 8, 2021 January 20, 2021
Phil Rosenfelt (cropped).jpg Phil Rosenfelt
Virginia January 20, 2021 March 1, 2021 Joe Biden
12 Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, official portrait.jpg Miguel Cardona Connecticut March 1, 2021 Incumbent

References[change | change source]

  1. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act".
  2. "The Education Secretaries Miguel Cardona Would Follow". Education Writers Association. Archived from the original on 2021-01-13. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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.