Lucas Museum officials announced the appointment of Arne Duncan as a member of its board of directors Tuesday.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the board of this truly exceptional nonprofit museum and to have the opportunity to work with pioneers like George and Mellody,” Duncan said in a statement. “This museum will inspire the next generation of artists and storytellers."
Duncan, a Chicago native, previously served as Chicago Public Schools superintendent from 2001 to 2009 and later as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2009 to 2016.
Duncan also worked at Ariel Investments. George Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, currently serves as president of the investment company, which is based in Chicago.
"We are honored that Secretary Duncan will lend his many talents, deep experience and remarkable insights to the museum,” Lucas said in a statement. “His passion for innovative solutions and commitment to equity make him particularly well-suited for the museum's educational and cultural mission.”
Hobson also praised Duncan.
"I cannot think of anyone more authentic, more committed and more devoted to young people than Arne Duncan," she said in a statement. "Arne shares our vision for creating a world-class institution that connects, inspires and educates diverse communities. We are very fortunate to have him join the board."
The construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been held up by a lawsuit filed by non-profit Friends of the Park. The city has proposed two potential sites for the museum: the original location between Soldier Field and McCormick Place and an alternative site where McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center currently sits.
Museum officials now say they are ”seriously pursuing" locations outside of Chicago after Friends of the Parks announced earlier this month that it opposes any site on the city’s lakefront, including the recently announced McCormick Place Lakeside Center plan.
According to reports, the project’s organizers have reportedly resumed talks with officials in the filmmaker’s hometown of San Francisco.