U.S. Department of Education Communications Chief Joins Whiteboard Advisors

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January 14, 2013 |

Whiteboard Advisors, today, announced the addition of Peter Cunningham, former U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach to the firm’s growing team of education experts.

Drawing upon decades of experience in communications strategy and education policy, Cunningham will advise the firm’s clients, which include leading education investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and government leaders.

“When we founded Whiteboard Advisors, our goal was to build a dream team of education experts to help the most innovative organizations and investors navigate complex challenges,” said Whiteboard Advisors co-founder Ben Wallerstein.  "Peter’s experience at the highest levels of education policy and politics will bring tremendous insight to our practice.”

Most recently, at the U.S. Department of Education, Cunningham led the Office of Communications and Outreach where he was responsible for messaging the president and secretary's education agenda. He also served as a policy advisor to the secretary. During that time, Peter managed a team over 100 and worked daily with a wide range of education stakeholders including national, regional and local press, nonprofits and interest groups, elected officials, administrators at institutions of education, teachers, students.

“Peter comes to Whiteboard with a tremendous understanding of how policy, advocacy, and communications interact together. We’re thrilled to have him on our team,” said Whiteboard Advisor senior adviser John Bailey.

Peter has had a successful career specializing in communications focused on education, government, and economic development for public, private and non-profit clients. Peter advised then-superintendent Arne Duncan at Chicago Public Schools before joining Secretary Duncan at the U.S. Department of Education. Peter began his career as a reporter and writer for business and general interest publications, including the Southampton Press. He went on to work for several years as a speechwriter for the Illinois attorney general's office, the Finance Committee of the Chicago City Council, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Peter was also affiliated with political consultant David Axelrod for several years.

“One of the benefits of working with Whiteboard Advisors is working alongside a diverse group of top-notch colleagues. Peter Cunningham is no exception,” said Whiteboard Advisors senior advisor Andrew Rotherham. “He brings a deep understanding of both federal and local education policy, and has an unparalleled ability to think strategically about complex education issues.”

Peter joins John Bailey and Andy Rotherham and a highly-acclaimed team of senior advisors at the firm. Other Whiteboard senior advisors include former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Gene Hickok; former New York Race to the Top Director Rebecca Kennard; and noted professor and author Peter Cookson.

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