Mark Roosevelt holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University and is a graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendent’s Academy. He has taught political science at Brandeis University, where he was also the director of the Gordon Public Policy Center, and taught a course on the intersection of American history and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy.
As a Massachusetts state representative, he chaired the Education Committee, where he guided passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993, legislation providing the equitable resources and accountability measures necessary for school improvement. He was also the lead sponsor of the 1989 Massachusetts Gay Rights Bill. In 1994, Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachusetts.
For a five-year period beginning in 2005, he served as superintendent of the Pittsburgh Schools. There, he pursued aggressive reform and founded The Pittsburgh Promise, an initiative that raised $150 million to guarantee college scholarships to Pittsburgh students who earn a 2.5 GPA or better.