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On June 26, 2001, Mayor Richard M. Daley named Arne Duncan Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools.
Arne Duncan currently serves on the Boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, The Children's Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the Dean's Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management, the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA. He also serves on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He was a fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago's class of 1995, and a member of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2002. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award, the Family Focus Honor and the Ivy League Alumni Challenge. In 2006, the City Club of Chicago named him Citizen of the Year. In 2007, he received the Niagara Foundation's Education Award, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Enterprising Educator Award and the University High School Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received Honorary Degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Lake Forest College and National-Lewis University.
Arne Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. From 1987-1991, Mr. Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state.
Arne Duncan returned to Chicago in 1992 to direct the Ariel Education Initiative, which seeks to create outstanding educational opportunities for inner-city children on the City's South Side. In 1998, he joined the Chicago Public Schools.