Iowa Coalition for Public Charter Schools

Mark Jacobs

Board Chair

Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs is a native Iowan and a product of Iowa public schools, having graduated from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. He holds an undergraduate business degree from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Management, with distinction, from Northwestern University. Mark served as President and CEO of Reliant Energy. Originally joining Reliant as CFO in 2002 when it was near bankruptcy and under state and federal investigations, Mark was part of a team that managed a turnaround that saved the company. In 2007, at the age of 45, he was named CEO, one of the youngest at the helm of a Fortune 500 company. Earlier in his career, Mark spent 13 years working for Goldman Sachs in New York and Houston advising companies and business owners on high-level strategic and financial matters.

Mark has a long track record of leadership in civic and social issues, especially public education. He served as Board Chair for KIPP Houston Public Schools, a high-performing charter school network serving over 9,500 economically disadvantaged students and one of the great success stories in education reform. Mark founded Reaching Higher Iowa to improve public education and restore Iowa’s position of leadership. The successful advocacy work of Reaching Higher Iowa paved the way for the launching of the Iowa Coalition for Public Charter Schools. Mark currently serves as the Board Chair for the Iowa Coalition.

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