United States Secretary of Education

The United States secretary of education is the head of the United States Department of Education. The secretary serves as the principle 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.

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
Mick Zais official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Mick Zais
Acting

since January 8, 2021
United States Department of Education
StyleMr. Secretary
(informal)
The Honorable
(formal)
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; 41 years ago (1979-11-30)
First holderShirley Hufstedler
SuccessionFifteenth[1]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Education
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I
Websitewww2.ed.gov

The current secretary of education is Mick Zais, who was nominated by Donald Trump to serve as Deputy Secretary and was approved by the United States Senate on May 17, 2018. Zais is serving in an acting capacity, following the immediate resignation of Betsy DeVos.

FunctionEdit

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.[2] This secretary deals with federal influence over education policy, and heads the United States Department of Education.[3]

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."[4]

List of secretariesEdit

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.

Parties

  Democratic   Republican

Status
  Denotes an Acting Secretary of Education

List of U.S. secretaries of health, education and welfareEdit

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
Gerald Ford
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[5]

List of U.S. secretaries of educationEdit

Source[6]

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
3
4   Lauro Cavazos Texas September 20, 1988 December 12, 1990
George H. W. Bush
  Ted Sanders
Acting
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[7] Illinois January 21, 2009 January 1, 2016 Barack Obama
10   John King Jr.[7] New York January 1, 2016 March 14, 2016
March 14, 2016 January 20, 2017
  Phil Rosenfelt
Acting
Virginia January 20, 2017 February 7, 2017 Donald Trump
11   Betsy DeVos Michigan February 7, 2017 January 8, 2021
  Mick Zais
Acting
South Carolina January 8, 2021 Incumbent
  Miguel Cardona Connecticut Nominee Joe Biden

Living former secretariesEdit

As of January 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 (1943-07-31) July 31, 1943 (age 77)
Lauro Cavazos 1988–1990 (1927-01-04) January 4, 1927 (age 94)
Lamar Alexander 1990–1993 (1940-07-03) July 3, 1940 (age 80)
Richard Riley 1993–2001 (1933-01-02) January 2, 1933 (age 88)
Rod Paige 2001–2005 (1933-06-17) June 17, 1933 (age 87)
Margaret Spellings 2005–2009 (1957-11-30) November 30, 1957 (age 63)
Arne Duncan[7] 2009–2015 (1964-11-06) November 6, 1964 (age 56)
John King Jr. 2016–2017 (1975-01-05) January 5, 1975 (age 46)
Betsy DeVos 2017–2021 (1958-01-08) January 8, 1958 (age 63)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. ^ Wilson, Reid (October 20, 2013). "The Presidential order of succession". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements". United States Department of Education. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "The Education Secretaries Miguel Cardona Would Follow". Education Writers Association. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c 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.

External linksEdit

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rick Perry
as Secretary of Energy
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Robert Wilkie
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Energy
Rick Perry
15th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Robert Wilkie