About the Iowa Department of Education Director
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.
Director Brad Buck
Dr. Brad Buck was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in 2013 to serve as director of the Iowa Department of Education. Buck, a longtime educator and school administrator, was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. He is a first-generation college graduate in his family.
Buck is an innovative leader and collaborator with the right skills to implement the landmark education reform package passed by the 2013 Legislature. As director, he is focused on helping Iowa’s education system implement this important work in a way that respects and supports both the individuality of Iowa communities and the vision and priorities set at the state level.
Buck began his career in education in 1992 as a middle school science teacher in the Ankeny Community School District. He taught for five years before taking on a number of administrative roles in the Waukee, Hudson, and North Mahaska school districts. Most recently, Buck was superintendent of the Saydel Community School District in Des Moines.
Buck is a former president of School Administrators of Iowa and was named SAI’s Iowa Middle Level Principal of the Year in 2004. He has held positions on various state-level committees and initiatives. They include Collaborating for Iowa’s Kids, a joint effort by the Iowa Department of Education, the Area Education Agencies, and school districts to support and scale up evidence-based practices across the state.
Buck is a graduate of Iowa State University, where he received a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, and the University of Northern Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology.
He lives in Urbandale with his wife, Traci, and their six children.