5 Women Who Shape Education Policy

Nina Rees implemented much of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act while Carmel Martin oversaw Race to the Top grant applications.

Melinda Gates of the Melinda Gates Foundation. 
©2011 Richard A. Bloom
National Journal Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
National Journal Staff
July 25, 2014, 1 a.m.

This year, Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Wo­men in Wash­ing­ton list fo­cuses on wo­men who ex­er­cise power­ful in­flu­ence in five policy areas: en­ergy, health care, tech­no­logy, de­fense, and edu­ca­tion.

Car­mel Mar­tin (Richard A. Bloom)Car­mel Mar­tin, Ex­ec­ut­ive Vice Pres­id­ent for Policy, Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress

Mar­tin was Edu­ca­tion Sec­ret­ary Arne Duncan’s right-hand aide un­til March, when she left her post as as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary to run the edu­ca­tion-re­search unit at the lib­er­al Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress. At the de­part­ment, she over­saw Duncan’s ma­jor en­deavors, in­clud­ing Race to the Top grant ap­plic­a­tions. At CAP, Mar­tin is a go-to ex­pert on all things K-12. She pre­vi­ously worked for edu­ca­tion guru Ed­ward Kennedy in the Sen­ate.

Kar­en Lewis, Pres­id­ent, Chica­go Teach­ers Uni­on

Any­one who can go toe to toe with Chica­go May­or Rahm Emanuel must have some stam­ina. As pres­id­ent of the Chica­go Teach­ers Uni­on, Lewis has been on the front lines of the city’s battles over longer school days, teach­er eval­u­ations, and salar­ies. She led the 2012 teach­ers uni­on strike, when her mem­bers sought a 30 per­cent pay in­crease.

Melinda Gates  (Richard A. Bloom)Melinda Gates, Co­chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Found­a­tion

Gates is the non-Mi­crosoft face of a phil­an­throp­ic or­gan­iz­a­tion that has re­vo­lu­tion­ized how edu­ca­tion is viewed in the United States. The Gates Found­a­tion bank­rolls dozens of groups ded­ic­ated to re­form­ing pub­lic schools, and is a big sup­port­er and fun­der of the con­tro­ver­sial Com­mon Core State Stand­ards. She is also a prom­in­ent force for re­du­cing glob­al poverty.

Nina Rees, Pres­id­ent and CEO, Na­tion­al Al­li­ance for Pub­lic Charter Schools

Rees is an out­spoken ad­voc­ate of school choice and has fre­quently func­tioned as a con­ser­vat­ive spokes­wo­man on edu­ca­tion. She im­ple­men­ted much of Pres­id­ent Bush’s No Child Left Be­hind Act, and served as an edu­ca­tion ad­viser to Mitt Rom­ney dur­ing the 2012 cam­paign.

De­borah Del­isle, As­sist­ant Sec­ret­ary for Ele­ment­ary and Sec­ond­ary Edu­ca­tion

At the Edu­ca­tion De­part­ment, Del­isle — Arne Duncan’s top aide on all mat­ters per­tain­ing to pre-K and K-12 — is in charge of ap­prov­ing states’ re­quests for No Child Left Be­hind waivers. Be­fore join­ing the de­part­ment, she was a seni­or fel­low at the In­ter­na­tion­al Cen­ter for Lead­er­ship in Edu­ca­tion, which part­ners with schools and dis­tricts to cre­ate best prac­tices for classrooms.

What We're Following See More »
FCC Tightens Internet Privacy Standards
3 hours ago

Along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to tighten privacy standards for Internet service providers. "The regulations will require providers to receive explicit customer consent before using an individual’s web browsing or app usage history for marketing purposes. The broadband industry fought to keep that obligation out of the rules."

Obama Commutes Another 98 Sentences
4 hours ago

President Obama commuted the sentences of another 98 drug offenders on Thursday. Most of the convicts were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs or possession with intent to distribute. Many of the sentences were commuted to expire next year, but some will run longer. Others are required to enroll in residential drug treatment as a condition of their release.

DOJ Busts More Than 50 for Call Center Scam
4 hours ago

The Department of Justice announced today it's charged "61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. In connection with the scheme, 20 individuals were arrested today in the United States and 32 individuals and five call centers in India were charged for their alleged involvement. An additional U.S.-based defendant is currently in the custody of immigration authorities."

Johnson on Ballot Everywhere, Followed by Stein, McMullin
6 hours ago
Is McMullin Building the GOP in Exile?
8 hours ago

Evan McMullin, the independent conservative candidate who may win his home state of Utah, is quietly planning to turn his candidacy into a broader movement for principled conservatism. He tells BuzzFeed he's "skeptical" that the Republican party can reform itself "within a generation" and that the party's internal "disease" can't be cured via "the existing infrastructure.” The ex-CIA employee and Capitol Hill staffer says, “I have seen and worked with a lot of very courageous people in my time [but] I have seen a remarkable display of cowardice over the last couple of months in our leaders.” McMullin's team has assembled organizations in the 11 states where he's on the ballot, and adviser Rick Wilson says "there’s actually a very vibrant market for our message in the urban northeast and in parts of the south."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.