Drawing upon decades of experience in public sector communications and education policy, Peter Cunningham advises clients on strategic communications and thought leadership. Most recently, Peter served as the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education under U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. In this role, he led the Office of Communications and Outreach (OCO), and was responsible for messaging the president and secretary’s education agenda, as well as advising the secretary on education policy development and communications. 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, education nonprofits and interest groups, elected officials, administrators at institutions of education, teachers, students and the general public. Peter serves as senior advisor at Whiteboard Advisors.
Peter earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Duke University, and a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. In addition to maintaining a professional career as a communications strategist, he is a guitar player with an affinity for jazz, blues and rock. His love of music is shared by his family, son Liam, daughter Sima—also musicians—and his wife, Jackie Kazarian, a Chicago-based artist.