Miguel Cardona is the current education secretary of the United States. He was nominated by then-President-elect Joe Biden on Dec. 22, 2020, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted to advance Cardona's nomination on Feb. 11, 2021, for a vote by the full Senate. He was confirmed by the Senate on March 1, 2021, and was sworn in on March 2.
As education secretary, Cardona is a member of President Biden's cabinet and oversees the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The goals of the $68 billion DOE budget are to advance excellence in—and ensure equal access to—education in the U.S. It does this by, among other things, implementing policies for federal financial aid, collecting and disseminating data on U.S. schools, and prohibiting discrimination in schools.
Cardona, a native of Connecticut, has most recently served as the state's commissioner of education. In that position, which he'd held since August 2019, Cardona has argued for the reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to prevent equity gaps from growing wider.
Cardona enjoyed bipartisan support for the position of top education official in the U.S. His goals for the DOE under his leadership include reopening schools, removing silos in education, and promoting college accessibility to every student.
Early Career and Education
Prior to his service as Connecticut's education commissioner, Cardona spent two decades as a public school teacher and administrator. He began as an elementary school teacher and was later principal and assistant superintendent in his home state. He has also been co-chairperson of the Connecticut Legislative Achievement Gap Task Force and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut.
Cardona holds a bachelor's degree in education from Central Connecticut State University and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Connecticut.