Sara Martinez Tucker
Sara Martinez Tucker most recently served as the under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, making her the nation's top higher education official. She was nominated to that post by President George W. Bush on Sept. 5, 2006, and confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 9, 2006. As under secretary, she oversaw all policies, programs and activities related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid.
Prior to joining the Department, Tucker worked for nine years as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), where she pursued an aggressive goal to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. In her time at the helm of HSF, Tucker raised $280 million for scholarships, growing annual scholarships from $3 million to over $25 million, and to launch community outreach programs to raise college expectations in Latino families and communities.
Prior to joining HSF in 1997, Tucker spent 16 years at AT&T, becoming the first Latina to reach the company's executive level. In her last assignment at the company, she served as a regional vice president for AT&T's Global Business Communications Systems, where she led a $400 million division to its highest profit levels. She also served as vice president for Consumer Operations, a $370 million operation with 6,500 employees serving AT&T's 80 million consumers. Under her leadership, this group contributed to the division's receipt of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award.
Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her bachelor's degree with honors in journalism in 1976. She worked for two years as a general assignments reporter for the San Antonio Express before returning to the University of Texas to earn her master's in business administration with high honors in 1979.
Throughout her career, Tucker has served on many boards and committees, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of American Electric Power (AEP), Wal-Mart’s External Advisory Council, and the University of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and its National Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools.
Among her many awards and honors, Tucker was named Hispanic of the Year in 2000 by Hispanic magazine, and, in 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States. Tucker has been named as an Outstanding Young Texas Ex and a Distinguished Alumna at The University of Texas at Austin and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, Boston College and the University of Maryland University College.
Tucker and her husband, Greg, an executive at Copart, a leading online vehicle re-marketer, live in San Francisco.