Education Secretary Arne Duncan is leaving his Obama administration in December, according to a letter to staffers obtained by the Associated Press.
In the letter, which was confirmed by a White House official, Duncan said he plans to return to Chicago with his family.
Sources also told AP President Obama plans to tap John King Jr., an Education Department official, to serve as acting secretary through the end of Obama’s term.
Duncan said the “bittersweet” decision was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family in an email to staff.
“It’s with real sadness that (I) have come to recognize that being apart from my family has become too much of a strain, and it is time for me to step aside and give a new leader a chance. I haven’t talked with anyone about what I’ll do next, and probably won’t for a little while — I’m simply returning to Chicago to live with my family,” Duncan wrote in the email, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Obama is expected to address Duncan’s announcement in a press conference at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Duncan is one of the longest-serving members of Obama’s administration after a seven-year tenure, and one of only two remaining members of Obama’s original Cabinet.