Nov. 8, 2023

Menard Family Distinguished Speaker scheduled


NDSU's Challey Institute invites the public to attend “A Conversation on Agency, Education and Upward Mobility” with Ian Rowe on Tuesday, Nov. 14. The event is free and open to all members of the NDSU community and the public.

The first 100 in-person attendees will receive a copy of his book “Agency.”

The talk will begin at 4 p.m., in the Louise Auditorium in Barry Hall, followed by an audience Q&A. All are invited to stay for a reception with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments in the Barry Hall Mezzanine at 5:30 p.m.

Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation and adoption. Rowe is also the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools opening in the Bronx in 2022; the chairman of the board of Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption services organization; and the cofounder of the National Summer School Initiative. He concurrently serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Woodson Center and a writer for the 1776 Unites Campaign.

Rowe was CEO of Public Prep, a nonprofit network of public charter schools based in the South Bronx and Lower East Side of Manhattan, for a decade. Before joining Public Prep, he was deputy director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, senior vice president of strategic partnerships and public affairs at MTV, director of strategy and performance measurement at the USA Freedom Corps office in the White House and cofounder and president of Third Millennium Media. Rowe also joined Teach for America in its early days.

He has been widely published in the popular press, including in the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner, and is often interviewed on talk radio programs.

Following the publication of his book “Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for All Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power” (Templeton Press, 2022), Rowe leads AEI’s FREE Initiative. The FREE Initiative cultivates a deeper understanding of how family, religion, education and entrepreneurship weave together a moral fabric that shapes children. Those insights have been shared with leaders around the country who can reinvigorate the crucial institutions that help develop agency in young people.

Rowe has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was the first black editor-in-chief of the Harbus; a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Cornell University; and a diploma in electrical engineering from Brooklyn Technical High School, one of New York City’s elite public schools, which specializes in science, technology and mathematics.

Free parking is available in the Elim Lot (map). We politely ask you to refrain from parking in the Sons of Norway lot.

If you are unable to join us in person, register on Zoom.

About the Series
The Menard Family Distinguished Speaker Series hosts world thought leaders to share their ideas with the NDSU community on big questions that explore ways to improve the human condition and create economic opportunity. The Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by the Challey Institute thanks to a generous gift by the Menard Family.

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