President Barack Obama intends to nominate Martha J. Kanter, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California, for under secretary of education, the White House announced Tuesday.
Kanter became chancellor of the community-college district — one of the largest in the country — in 2003, after 10 years as president of De Anza College. Previously she was vice president for instruction and student services at San Jose City College and director, dean and vice chancellor for policy and research in the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office.
Kanter’s selection comes on the heels of another key appointment in Department of Education. Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan chose Greg Darnieder as his special assistant for college access.
Darnieder, longtime head of the Chicago Public School Office of College and Careers, joins the consultant Robert M. Shireman, president of the Institute for College Access and Success, on the Education Department’s higher-education team.
According to Catalyst Chicago, a Chicago-based news magazine, Darnieder was credited with establishing a relationship with the National Student Clearinghouse that provided the district with specific information on college enrollment for Chicago Public School graduates.
Darnieder is expected to contribute as much K-12 experience to the Department of Education as Kanter is expected to contribute higher education experience.
Kanter came to California in 1977 after serving at an alternative high school.
In California, she established the first program for students with learning disabilities at San Jose City College. She then served as a director, dean and subsequently as vice chancellor for policy and research for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. In 1993 she was named president of De Anza College, where she served until becoming chancellor in 2003.
Kanter holds a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Brandeis University.
Kanter is active in a wide variety of national, state and local organizations including the executive board of the League for Innovation in the Community College and is the vice president of the CEO Board of the Community College League of California.
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