Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced privately earlier on Friday that he will step down from his role in December. President Obama then officially announced the resignation during a Friday afternoon press conference.
Deputy Secretary John King, Jr. will become acting Secretary and President Obama will be keeping King in the position for the remainder of the term.
Duncan is one of the few original members of the Cabinet still remaining. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has been in his position for the entire duration of the Administration and Shaun Donovan has served in the Cabinet continuously in some role. Originally, he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development before being named head of the Office of Management and Budget.
Duncan is a member of the President’s inner circle and the two have known each other due to their roots in Chicago. Duncan would regularly take part in the President’s weekend basketball games before Obama moved more into gold games. Duncan previously served as CEO of the Chicago public schools and his family continues to live in the city. Duncan cited his family for his reason for leaving.
Duncan’s future plans are unknown and even he admits he is unsure of his future except for spending time with his family.