Kent Pekel

Superintendent of Schools

Rochester Public Schools

Kent Pekel is Superintendent of schools in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Pekel is an educational leader who has worked at the school, district, state, federal, and university levels. Throughout his diverse career, he has sought to bridge research, practice, and policy to help all young people thrive. Prior to joining Rochester Public Schools, Dr. Pekel spent nine years as President and CEO of Search Institute, an internationally recognized not-for-profit organization that conducts applied research that promotes positive youth development and advances equity. Prior to joining Search Institute in 2012, Dr. Pekel served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium, and as Executive Director of Research and Development in the Saint Paul Public Schools. Early in his career, Dr. Pekel held several senior staff positions during the Clinton Administration, including as a White House Fellow assigned to the Director of the CIA, Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education. Dr. Pekel began his career as a high school teacher in his home state of Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota.