Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress announced that Carmel Martin, who served for the past four years in the Obama administration as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the Department of Education, will join CAP as Executive Vice President for Policy where she will oversee all the Center’s policy development.
The Center for American Progress—the country’s leading progressive idea institute—is a natural home for Martin, who according to The Washington Post, “has been in the middle of every prominent education policy debate in the past decade.” In that role, she helped to develop policy and budgets across the Department of Education, coordinating with the department’s principal offices as well as with the Executive Office of the President, the Office of Management and Budget, the House and Senate education and appropriations committees, and state education agencies. In addition to bringing her diverse and extensive policy experience—from her work as senior advisor to Education Secretary Arne Duncan to her wide ranging work for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)—Martin comes to CAP with her vision for confronting the country’s long-term challenges through innovative policy solutions.
“We are thrilled to have Carmel rejoin the Center for American Progress in one of our most senior leadership roles,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. “Her deep knowledge of what works in policy, along with her excellent vision for our country and the best way to move it forward, are critical in the policy battles that CAP engages in every day.”
The role of Executive Vice President for Policy has been held by leading lights of the policy world, including current President and CEO of the Urban Institute Sarah Wartell and former Director of President Barack Obama’s Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes. Under Martin’s leadership, CAP will continue to develop policy ideas that change the policy debate in Washington, mold federal and state policy, and improve the lives of Americans. She will oversee the policy development across issue areas and will help CAP as it develops the next generation of ideas that will shape our country.
Prior to serving in the Obama administration, Martin worked as general counsel and chief education advisor to Sen. Kennedy for his work on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In that role, she also served as deputy to the staff director, where she assisted in overall management of the committee and worked on a wide range of issues including improving health care coverage and access, protecting seniors, and ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness. Martin also worked on legislation focused on workforce investment, juvenile justice, welfare, national service, and the budget. She served as the senator’s lead counsel during executive sessions and floor action, managed the nominations process, and served as the lead negotiator on education legislation.
She previously worked at the Center for American Progress as the associate director for domestic policy, and in the Senate as chief counsel and senior policy advisor to former Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and special counsel to former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD). Throughout her years in Congress, she worked on legislation related to education, welfare, and other issues important to children and families.
Early in Martin’s career, she worked as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the Educational Opportunities Section at the Department of Justice, as well as in the private sector as a member of Hogan & Hartson’s 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 the Hon. Thomas Reavley, judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
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