The Iowa Department of Education director is appointed by the Governor to serve a four-year term, subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate. The director's role is to provide leadership for the department as it carries out the policies and programs prescribed by state law and the State Board of Education; and to ensure department personnel are providing the necessary oversight and support for all schools, educators and students to meet their academic goals. The department director also serves as the executive officer of the State Board of Education, a nonvoting role.
Dr. Jason Glass has been director of the Iowa Department of Education since December 2010, having been appointed by Governor Terry Branstad and confirmed by the Iowa Senate.
Under Director Glass’s leadership, the Department has focused on the values of demonstrating courageous leadership, promoting innovation in education, and acting as a servant to schools and communities in Iowa.
As director, he works with the Governor, legislators, the State Board of Education, and Iowans in supporting efforts and initiatives to restore the state’s tradition as a national leader in education and to lead transformative change.
Born and raised in a family of educators, and married to a teacher, Director Glass has served in a variety of roles in diverse education settings across several states.
After teaching at the high school and university levels in Kentucky, Director Glass worked for the Colorado Department of Education to ensure a quality education for students with disabilities. Director Glass served as vice president for Qualistar Early Learning in Denver, where he helped develop an early childhood education quality rating system and raised funds to help providers make needed improvements. He was the director of human resources for Eagle County Schools in Colorado, a pioneering district in innovative human resources strategies, including performance-based compensation.
Prior to joining the Iowa Department of Education, Director Glass worked with Battelle for Kids as senior director of human capital, providing states and districts counsel in implementing transformational change as part of the federal Race to the Top program in Tennessee and Ohio.
Director Glass is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he received a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. He holds a doctorate in education from Seton Hall University.
Director Glass lives in Des Moines with his wife, Sarah; their toddler, Norah; baby Chase; and a spirited Jack Russell terrier, Ringo.