Jim Lark

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James W. Lark III
Jim Lark (20304954995) (cropped).jpg
EducationB.S. in Mathematics, Ph.D in Systems Engineering
Alma materVirginia Tech (B.S.), University of Virginia (Ph.D.)
EmployerUniversity of Virginia
Political partyLibertarian
Board member ofLiberty International, Students For Liberty

James W. Lark III currently serves as a professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment and in the Applied Mathematics Program of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. In addition, he is an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Statistics at the University.

He has served as an adjunct professor in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. From 2003-2009 he served as Assistant to the Athletics Director for Special Projects at the University.

Lark has served as visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech. He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester. He has also served as a visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of publications in mathematics, operations research, and artificial intelligence. His solution procedure for finite-horizon partially observed Markov decision processes is known in the research literature as the "Lark algorithm" (or "Lark filtering algorithm").[1]

He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va. Tech) and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.

He serves as secretary of the Board of Directors of Liberty International (formerly the International Society for Individual Liberty). He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the pro-liberty student organization Students For Liberty, and has spoken at their conferences across North America and Europe.[2] He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland. He is also a member of the Foundation for Economic Education's Faculty Network.

Lark served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government from 2003 until 2016. He served as the chairman of the Board from 2009 until 2016.

He has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1983. He currently serves as the Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee. In addition, he is a member of the LNC's Executive Committee, and chairs the Employment Policy and Compensation Committee. Since 2013 he has served as the LNC's representative to the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties (IALP).

He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000–2002 term, and as secretary pro tem during part of the 2012–2014 term. He served as an at-large member of the LNC during the 1998–2000 term, and as a regional representative during the 2004–2006, 2006–2008, 2008–2010, 2010–2012, 2012–2014, 2014-2016, and 2016-2018 terms. He was a member of the Libertarian Party's Platform Committee in 1991, 1998, 2010, and 2012, and a member of the Bylaws Committee in 2000. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.[3]

In July 2018, Lark was inducted into the Libertarian Party's Hall of Liberty, the Party's highest honor. Induction into the Hall honors lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting impact on the Libertarian Party and/or libertarian movement.

He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams award (given at national LP conventions for outstanding activism), the 2008 Thomas Jefferson award (given at national LP conventions for outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party), and the 2012 Thomas Paine award (given at national LP conventions for outstanding communication of Libertarian ideas). He is the only person to win each of these awards.

He currently serves as the secretary of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, as well as Local Affiliate Parties Committee chairman and the campus coordinator for the LPVA. He has served previously as the LPVA's vice-chairman. He is the secretary of the Jefferson Area Libertarians in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2007, the Libertarian Party of Virginia gave him the "Libertarian Leader" award in recognition of his many contributions to the Libertarian Party. He was the fourth person to be so honored.[4]

Lark currently serves as advisor to The Liberty Coalition and its constituent organizations at the University of Virginia. He founded several of the Coalition organizations while a graduate student at the University of Virginia. He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians throughout the country on promoting libertarian ideas on campus. He has conducted several campus organizing tours on behalf of the LP. He has lectured and conducted workshops on campus organizing at many state Libertarian Party conventions, and at the Libertarian Party national conventions in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2014. He served as a member of the Libertarian Leadership School faculty, and as a member of the Libertarian Party's "Success '97" and "Success '99" Leadership Seminar faculty.

In addition to the recognition received from the Libertarian Party, he has received several awards and honors in various areas, including the Leonard E. Read Distinguished Alumni Award for Leadership (from the Foundation for Economics Education), the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (from the International Council on Systems Engineering, University of Virginia), and induction into the Pulaski County High School Hall of Fame (Pulaski County, Virginia).


  1. ^ "Lark Alogorithim" (PDF). Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "SFL Board of Advisers". Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Libertarian Party Website". Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  4. ^ http://www.lpva.com/Archives/News/2007/20070214lark.shtml

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
David Bergland
U.S. Libertarian Party National Chairman
2000 – 2002
Succeeded by
Geoff Neale