Mark Roosevelt

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Mark Roosevelt
Mark Roosevelt.jpg
Personal details
Born (1955-12-10) December 10, 1955 (age 62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Harvard University

Mark Roosevelt (born December 10, 1955) is the seventh president of the Santa Fe campus of St. John's College.[1] He was the President of Antioch College from January 2011 to December 2015[2] and superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the second largest school district in Pennsylvania, until December 31, 2010.[3] He is also a former state legislator of Massachusetts and former Democratic candidate for governor of the commonwealth. Roosevelt is the great-grandson of 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt.

Early life[edit]

Roosevelt grew up in Washington, D.C. with two brothers and a sister and attended St. Albans School.

Roosevelt is the great-grandson of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the son of Mary Lowe "Polly" (Gaddis) and Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., who was one of the key figures behind the controversial coup engineered by the CIA that restored the Shah to power in Iran in 1953. He was related to his 1994 Massachusetts gubernatorial opponent William Weld through Weld's wife at that time, Susan Roosevelt Weld,[4] the daughter of Quentin Roosevelt II.

He earned his A.B. degree in history from Harvard University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.


Political career[edit]

In 1977, Roosevelt served as campaign manager for the late John O'Bryant, the first black man elected to Boston's school board.[4]

He served in the Massachusetts General Court from 1986 to 1994.[5] In 1990, he was appointed Chairman of the legislature’s Education Committee, where he was the co-author and chief sponsor of the Education Reform Act of 1993.[6] He also was chief sponsor of a gay rights bill that had been introduced annually since 1972 but did not pass until 1989. The bill's passage made Massachusetts the second state, after Wisconsin, to pass legislation protecting gay rights.[7][8]

In 1994, Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts and lost the general election to the Republican incumbent, William Weld. Roosevelt and Weld were cousins by marriage: Weld's wife Susan Roosevelt Weld was also a great-grandchild of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Following his bid for office, Roosevelt served as CEO of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, Managing Director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and as a Professor of Politics and head of the Gordon Public Policy Center at Brandeis University.

Pittsburgh Public Schools[edit]

A graduate of the 2003 Broad Superintendents Academy, Roosevelt was appointed on August 3, 2005, to the position of Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) superintendent. He accepted this post under the terms of a performance-based "accountability contract."[9] While in Pittsburgh, he implemented measures intended to ease the district's financial problems and improve academic standards. The plan included the closing of underutilized and under-performing schools, opening of accelerated learning academies with a vigorous academic curriculum and longer school hours, the moving of several programs, and an increase in the number of childhood education programs, K-8 schools and 6-12 schools.[10]

Under his leadership, PPS met federal achievement standards (AYP) for the first time, received a $40-million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focused on improving teacher effectiveness,[11] opened several innovative new schools,[12] adopted a more rigorous curriculum,[13] and inaugurated a nationally recognized program to recruit, train and support school principals as instructional leaders.[14]

In 2007, Roosevelt founded The Pittsburgh Promise and secured a $100-million challenge grant from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The Promise has raised more than $180 million to guarantee college scholarships to PPS graduates who meet certain academic standards and has supported more than 6,500 students.[15]

In October 2010 he became a finalist for the position of President of Antioch College.[16] On October 6, 2010, he held a press conference to announce his resignation as superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools effective December 31, 2010. It was reported that he was the only finalist for the Presidency of Antioch College in Ohio.[2][17]

Antioch College[edit]

Roosevelt served as president of Antioch College from 2011-2015.[18] Hired to reestablish the college, which had closed, Roosevelt helped to recruit faculty and students; began a renovation of the campus; and reestablished Antioch's cooperative education program. He also led a process that resulted in "fast-track" accreditation consideration for Antioch from the Higher Learning Commission.[19] The college won accreditation in July 2016.[20] He negotiated an agreement between the College and Antioch University—finalized in July 2013—that eliminated any future claims of the university to Antioch College’s campus or endowment.

On May 5, 2015, Roosevelt announced his departure from Antioch by the end of the year.[21][22] Dr. Thomas Manley was hired as his successor, to begin in March 2016.[23] Roosevelt assumed the presidency of St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, replacing Michael P. Peters.[24]

St. John's College[edit]

Mark Roosevelt is the seventh president of the Santa Fe campus of St. John's College, which also has a campus in Annapolis, Maryland. He took office on January 1, 2016. In June of that year, the St. John's Board of Visitors and Governors voted to make Roosevelt the college-wide president as of July 1, 2016.[25]

Other work[edit]

Roosevelt has also taught graduate level courses on the intersection of American history and public policy at Brandeis University and the Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.[26]


He is married to Dorothy, the former project lead on Antioch College's Wellness Center, which opened to the public on September 6, 2014.[27] Prior to Antioch College, Dorothy worked at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and as a yoga instructor. They married in January 2005 [4] and have a daughter, Juliana. Roosevelt also has a son, Matthew,[1] from a previous marriage.


  1. ^ a b "Mark Roosevelt, SJC Santa Fe's Seventh President". 
  2. ^ a b "Ohio college approves Mark Roosevelt as its new leader". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2010-10-17. 
  3. ^ Rujumba, Karamagi (2010-10-07). "Pittsburgh schools chief Roosevelt moving on". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  4. ^ a b c Zlatos, Bill (2006-05-16). "Making a name for himself". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Public Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". 
  6. ^ Education Reform Act of 1993
  7. ^ "Interview with Massachusetts State Representative Mark Roosevelt". 
  8. ^ "Can Antioch College Return From the Dead Again?". 
  9. ^ Dowd, Patrick (2005-08-28). "Forum: Accountability for the city schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  10. ^ Increased Childhood Education Programs in Pittsburgh Archived 2006-06-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^$40-Million-Grant-to-Support-Districts-Plan
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Roosevelt is one leader who lived up to promise". 
  15. ^ "The Pittsburgh Promise Impact Dashboard". 
  16. ^ Presidential candidate for Antioch College Archived 2010-10-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Resignation of Pittsburgh Public Schools
  18. ^ "Antioch College Names Mark Roosevelt Its New President | Antioch College". Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  19. ^ "College wins victory on path to accreditation". 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Roosevelt to leave Antioch College in December". Yellow Springs News. May 14, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Antioch College president stepping down". Dayton Daily News. May 5, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Antioch College names new president". November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Mark Roosevelt is incoming president for St. John's College in Santa Fe". Albuquerque Journal. May 26, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Results of the Board of Visitors and Governors Polity Vote". 
  26. ^ Teaching career
  27. ^ New Wellness Center

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
John Silber
Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Scott Harshbarger
Academic offices
Preceded by
Matthew Derr
President of Antioch College
Succeeded by
Tom Manley