Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, who grew up in Miami Lakes, was sworn in Oct. 8 as the assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education.
President Joe Biden nominated Graham for the position and said in his announcement that she has “a reputation for fairness, compassion and problem-solving.”
The day before she took her oath, Graham, 58, tweeted, “Honored to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate today. Thank you to @Potus & @SecCardona for their support.
“The value and importance of public education has been a cornerstone of my life,” Graham wrote on Twitter. “So proud to work on behalf of our nation’s students, families and educators.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona posted on the department’s website, “And surely no one is better equipped for the role of Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs than Gwen Graham, herself a former member of Congress and a civic and public education leader with a re- markable record of service and impact.”
Graham is a Democrat who represented Florida’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2015 - 2017.
The large district is in the Panhandle and includes Tallahassee, Marianna and Panama City.
Graham ran for governor but lost the 2018 Democratic primary.
She is an attorney and former chief of labor and employee relations for the Leon County School District.
While living in Miami Lakes, Graham attended Miami Lakes Elementary, Miami Lakes Junior High (now Miami Lakes Middle School) and Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina and a law degree from American University.
She is the eldest of four daughters of Adele and Bob Graham.
Graham graduated from Leon High School in Tallahassee, which she attended while her father served as governor of Florida.
Bob Graham is also a former U.S. senator. The Graham family developed the Town of Miami Lakes from their dairy farm.
Gwen Graham serves on the council of advisors for the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
A former PTA president, she has three children and is married to Steve Hurm.
Hurm is an attorney and director of the division of licensing at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education.