Top National Education Figure Martha Kanter Joins NYU Steinhardt as Distinguished Visiting Professor

Martha J. Kanter, under secretary of education at the U.S. Department of Education, has been appointed as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

At NYU Steinhardt, Kanter will join the faculty in the Program in Higher and Postsecondary Education. Under the two-year appointment, she will teach as well as advise and mentor the program’s students.

NYU President John Sexton said, “It is crucial for universities and their schools of education to be at the forefront of the national discourse about how we improve opportunity, broaden access to education, and maintain high educational standards in post-secondary education. I have known and admired Martha Kanter, and I am delighted to have her as a member of the NYU community, where she will contribute not just to the Steinhardt School, but also to the quality of the national debate on these important matters.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Kanter to the Steinhardt School,” said NYU Steinhardt Dean Mary Brabeck. “She is an experienced higher education administrator who brings a commitment to higher education excellence and equity.”

“Martha is a natural fit for our program in higher education,” said Ann Marcus, director of the Steinhardt Institute of Higher Education Policy. “Her expertise in community colleges, federal higher education policy, and federal initiatives for minority populations mirror many of our program priorities.”

“The access, equity, and success of and for our nation’s students will be first and foremost on my mind,” Kanter said of her move to NYU during the Department’s Farewell Party today in Washington. “I will teach, write and work on what I hope will be only those things where I can have the greatest impact on excellence and equity to change the lives of others for the better.”

Kanter, who will begin her tenure at NYU in January 2014, served as under secretary of education from 2009 until December of this year. In this role, she oversaw policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult and career-technical education, and federal student aid. She also supervised six White House Initiatives on: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Educational Excellence for Hispanics; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; American Indian and Alaska Native Education; Educational Excellence for African Americans and Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Prior to her tenure at the U.S. Department of Education, where she focused on educational excellence and equity in education, Kanter served as chancellor of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District in California (2003-2009) and as president of De Anza College (1993-2003) in Cupertino, Calif. Kanter holds an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco (1989), an M.Ed. from Harvard University (1974), and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University (1970).