The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C., among them Maribel Duran a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University SNHU.
Duran was the first Latina board trustee at Southern New Hampshire University, a New America Latino National Security and Foreign Policy Next Generation Leader, and a Center for American Progress U.S.-Mexico Leaders Initiative Member.
The daughter of Mexican immigrants spoke to SNHU about the benefit of her education experience, as it allows her to communicate an honest message about the power of education and why completing her degree was so important. As she talks to groups across the country, Duran is quick to share her story – that of a single mother of two, who had been to three other universities before enrolling in an online program at Southern New Hampshire University – and how she managed to navigate her way to success. “It made me more relatable,” she said. “Being a single mom and working is a challenge. You have to discipline yourself.”
Previously, Duran served eight years in the Obama Administration, first as Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, then as Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and ultimately as Chief of Staff for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
She recently served as Managing Director for Equity and Inclusion for the Aspen Institute, as well as Chief of Staff for its Leadership Division.
From 2018-2019, she was co-chair of the Institute’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.
Duran began her career at the Chicago Public Schools.