Dr. Rod Paige
Dr. Rod Paige is a lifelong educator and former U.S. Secretary of Education (2001-2005), making him the first African American and first school superintendent to serve in this capacity. As Secretary, Paige was an unstinting advocate of student achievement, employing “best of breed” solutions to achieve results towards the goal of raising national standards of educational excellence. Before beginning his career in education administration, he was a college football coach for two decades. Paige later became Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District in 1994 and was known for his successful leadership and innovative reforms as head of the large district. He also served as the Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University. After leaving the Education Department, he became a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and recently served as the Interim President of his alma mater, Jackson State University. Paige earned a Bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and a Master’s degree and a doctorate in Physical Education from Indiana University.