Ian Rowe

Chief Executive Officer


18 to 18 – How Public Prep charter school network operationalizes its core values

Public Prep is the nation’s oldest and only non-profit network that exclusively develops exceptional, tuition-free PreK and single-sex elementary and middle public schools. Our model is designed to empower each student to build strong character, demonstrate critical thinking, possess a core body of knowledge and be on a predictive path to earn a degree from a four-year university. Public Prep now educates nearly 2,000 PreK-8 scholars in Girls Prep Lower East Side, Girls Prep Bronx and Boys Prep Bronx, and has now graduated nearly 500 alumnae as exiting 8th graders, more than 100 of whom are now enrolled as freshman or sophomores in some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Yet providing a high-quality education PreK through 8th grade is necessary, but not sufficient. It ignores the profound effect of what happens in brain and literacy development before entry into formal schooling in PreK, and it also ignores the fact that young people need an economic framework for making life choices and decisions as they embark upon the next twelve years of their lives in high school, college and young adulthood, when critical decisions are made that will have lifelong consequences – positive or negative. This session will discuss how Public Prep seeks to provide guidance to our Boys Prep and Girls Prep scholars, from 18 months to 18 years old.


A proud product of the NYC public school system, Ian Rowe is a social entrepreneur and leader who has worked for more than 20 years in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, to effect positive change in the lives of young people worldwide. He is CEO of Public Prep, and formerly held senior roles at MTV, the White House, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Teach For America. He is Chairman of the Board of Spence-Chapin. He holds a BS in Computer Science Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Pahara Aspen fellow, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Thomas Fordham Institute, and was the first black Editor-in-Chief of the Harbus, the Harvard Business School Newspaper.