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January 19, 2016

Martha Kanter, Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education, Guest for Revisioning Adult Higher Education Webinar

Martha J. Kanter
Martha J. Kanter Photo/provided

Martha J. Kanter, former U.S. undersecretary of education, will be the next guest in SUNY Empire State College’s Revisioning Adult Higher Education webinar series.

The webinar is free, open to the public and takes place from noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17.

The webinar will be streamed lived via the Internet at; registration is not required.

The college’s webinar series encourages and promotes conversations around key issues, challenges and possibilities for adult higher education today.

Kanter, a distinguished visiting professor of higher education and senior fellow at New York University and former member of President Barak Obama’s administration, has been involved in national higher education policy at the highest levels.

Her academic interests include the confluence of access, equity and academic excellence, the intersection of policy and politics in American higher education and the contributions of America's community colleges to the nation's social fabric, civic future and economy.

About Martha J. Kanter

Kanter served as the U.S. undersecretary of education, the Obama administration’s highest-ranking higher-education official, from June 2009 through December 2013.

She had oversight of all federal postsecondary statutory, regulatory and administrative policies and programs for the U.S. Department of Education, including the areas of higher education, adult education, career-technical education, international education, all federal student aid programs, which comprised $175 billion annually, and six White House Initiatives.

Through the first term of the Obama administration, Kanter and her team focused on advancing the president’s goal to have the best-educated, most-competitive workforce in the world by 2020 through increasing college access, affordability, quality and completion.

She oversaw the successful implementation of the federal direct student-loan program, which resulted in a 50 percent increase in college enrollment for students receiving Pell Grants.

Previously, Kanter served as chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, Los Altos Hills, Calif., and president of De Anza College, Cupertino, Calif., and began her career as an alternative high-school teacher.

Kanter 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.

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