Expertise: Domestic policy, early childhood policy, education, federal budget, higher education, progressive movement
Carmel Martin is a distinguished senior fellow at American Progress, focusing on economic policy and education and workforce issues. Martin was formerly the executive vice president for policy at American Progress, managing the organization’s policy teams, shaping organizational strategy, and serving as a key member of American Progress’ Executive team. She also served as the treasurer to the Center for American Progress board. In 2004, Martin was a founding member of the American Progress staff as the associate director for Domestic Policy.
Before joining American Progress as executive vice president, Martin served as the assistant secretary for policy and budget at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to her appointment by former President Barack Obama to her position at the Department of Education, Martin served as general counsel and deputy staff director for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She also served as chief counsel and senior policy adviser to former Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and special counsel to former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD). Through her years in Congress, she worked on legislation related to education, workforce, budget, welfare, health care, and other issues of national importance.
Early in Martin’s career, she worked as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Educational Opportunities Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as in the private sector as a member of Hogan and Hartson’s (now Hogan Lovells) education practice. There she counseled and represented school districts and institutions of higher education across the country. She graduated with a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and a master’s degree in public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. After graduate school, Martin was a law clerk to Thomas M. Reavley, judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
Martin has appeared on PBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox. She has been published in and cited in publications including The New York Times and The Washington Post. She was named one of the five women who shape education policy by the National Journal in 2014 and has testified as an expert witness in front of legislative committees, including the House Budget Committee.