Martha J. Kanter

Martha J. Kanter is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education and Senior Fellow at New York University.    In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Kanter to serve as the U.S. Under Secretary of Education, with oversight responsibility for all federal postsecondary statutory, regulatory and administrative policies and programs for the U.S. Department of Education. Through the first term of the Obama Administration, Kanter and her team focused on increasing college access, affordability, quality and completion to implement President Obama's goal to have the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world by 2020.

She oversaw the successful implementation of the Direct Student Loan program that resulted in a 50-percent increase in college enrollment, growing from 6 to more than 9 million students today who are Pell Grant recipients. Previously, Kanter served as President of De Anza College and then Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District for sixteen years. She began her career as an alternative high school teacher. She holds a B.A. degree in Sociology from Brandeis University, an M.Ed. from Harvard University and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco.