Kent Pekel, Ed.D. - President and CEO

Professional Overview

Kent Pekel is an educator who has worked at the school, district, state, federal, and university levels. Prior to joining Search Institute in 2012, Kent served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium and as the Executive Director of Research and Development in the Saint Paul Public Schools. Kent also held several senior staff-level positions in the Clinton Administration, including White House Fellow assigned to the Director of Central Intelligence, Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education. Kent began his career as a high school social studies teacher in his home state of Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale, a Master’s in Education from Harvard and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota. He serves on the boards of MENTOR and Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.


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