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Colloquium 2020 Keynote Speaker

John B. King Jr.

President and CEO of The Education Trust

King served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education. He joined the U.S. Department of Education following his tenure as the first African American and Puerto Rican to serve as New York State Education Commissioner. His career includes a lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems. His life is an extraordinary testament to the transformative power of education.

Both of King’s parents were career New York City public school educators, whose example serves as an enduring inspiration. He credits New York City public school teachers—particularly educators at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain Junior High School in Coney Island—as providing him with rich and engaging educational experiences and giving him hope for the future..

King holds a bachelor of arts in government from Harvard University, a JD from Yale Law School, as well as a master of arts in the teaching of social studies and a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. King serves as professor of practice at the University of Maryland College of Education and is a member of several boards, including those for The Century Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Teach Plus, and the American Museum of Natural History. He was elected to Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and serves on several advisory boards, including former first lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, the Rework America Task Force, the Fatherhood Leadership Council at the Good+Foundation, the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and the National Advisory Council for the Prenatal-to-Three Policy Impact Center at the University of Texas at Austin.