IOWA CITY, Iowa—James S. "Jimmy" Clarke has been named executive director of ACT's Center for College and Career Success. He will lead the development and rollout of the newly formed ACT Center, a critically important resource in support of state and national educational initiatives. The center will help inform educational policy development based on ACT's research, and advance best practices and proven reforms related to ACT's mission of helping people to achieve educational and workplace success.
"We are incredibly fortunate to secure the talents and experience of someone of Jimmy's caliber," said Cyndie Schmeiser, president and chief operating officer of ACT's Education Division. "He comes to ACT with a perfect blend of experience, vision, and professionalism. We could not be in better hands in terms of building and launching a powerful center."
Clarke officially joined ACT on April 14. He is well known in state and national P-16 circles, and has been an active contributor to ACT as a member of the ACT Education Advisory Board.
"I am extremely pleased to be joining the ACT team in the development of the ACT Center for College and Career Success," said Clarke. "It is an extraordinary opportunity. I look forward to helping expand ACT's capacity to respond to major issues and needs in the P-16 community by identifying and supporting good educational policy and practice at all levels of governance."
Clarke most recently served as chief of staff for Governor Kathleen Blanco in Louisiana. His rich background also includes experience as deputy commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs for the Louisiana Board of Regents, acting chancellor of the Louisiana Technical College, and dean of enrollment management at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received his bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and both his master's degree and doctorate in educational leadership from Louisiana State University.
Clarke and his wife Sandra have two daughters, Jessica and Michelle.