Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009. The role of the secretary of education is to deal with education policy. Duncan’s role is advised by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Duncan advises the president on the current situation involving education in America. One of the president’s main focuses is education so when the president has an idea to improve education, whether it is student loan forgiveness or areas of education to invest in for our future, he consults Duncan on what is possible and what is impossible. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. The department of education has 4,400 employees and a $68 billion budget. The secretary of education is dedicated to establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research, focusing national attention on key educational issues, and prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.
Ambassador of the US Trade Representative
Ronald Kirk is the 16th United States trade representative who is serving in the Obama administration. He served as the mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2002. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of more than 200 professionals that specialize in trade issues and regions of the world. They negotiate directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations. They also meet with governments, with business groups, with legislators and with public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and to discuss the President's trade policy positions. The President conducts trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels. The office also coordinates trade policy within the government through the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) and Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG).