Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Vertex Partnership Academies
As former chief executive officer of Public Prep, a role he held for ten years, Ian Rowe provided the strategic direction for the nation’s first and oldest non-profit network that exclusively develops exceptional, tuition-free Pre-K and single-sex elementary and middle public charter schools, educating more than 2,000 students in New York City. Rowe is now a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on upward mobility, education, strong families and entrepreneurship. Rowe is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Charter School Growth Fund, is founding Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based, International Baccalaureate public charter high schools to open in the Bronx in 2022. Rowe is also writing a forthcoming (2021) book tentatively entitled Agency (Templeton Press), that seeks to inspire young people of all races to build strong families and become masters of their own destiny, despite life’s challenges. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow for the Woodson Center and will continue to write for the 1776 Unites Campaign.
Prior to Public Prep, Rowe was the deputy director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was part of the team that disbursed nearly $470 million to increase college completion rates among low income young adults. Rowe has also served as senior vice president of strategic partnerships and public affairs at MTV, where he earned two Public Service Emmys and developed global and domestic public service campaigns to mobilize young adult voters and improve high school and college completion rates. Earlier, Rowe held senior roles at the White House USA Freedom Corps and Teach For America (TFA), and co-founded Third Millennium Media, a media consultancy focused on raising awareness of and mobilizing action on social issues. Rowe is Chairman of the Board of Spence-Chapin, a premiere adoption agency.
Rowe is a product of the New York City public school system, attended Brooklyn Technical High School, received his bachelor’s in computer science engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and has held numerous fellowships, including Echoing Green, Pahara, and Harvard Social Enterprise.