Headshot: Martin J. Blank

IEL President to Step Down in 2017

IEL Board Chair C. Kent McGuire today announced that Martin J. Blank, president of IEL since 2009, will be stepping down after a planned transition and search. After 25 years with the Institute, Marty will be leaving his position in early 2017 after a successor has been named. He will continue as the director of the Coalition for Community Schools until a new Coalition director is chosen and then become an IEL senior fellow.

“The IEL board is grateful for Marty’s years of leadership,” said McGuire. “His vision has helped to secure a bright future for IEL as a leading organization in equipping leaders to work across boundaries to increase opportunity and achievement for young people, and support their families and communities. We are delighted that he will remain dedicated to helping IEL continue to grow.”

Blank’s announcement comes at a time of significant growth and strength at IEL. During his tenure, and together with the members of the IEL leadership team, he has helped IEL become a major systems-change and movement-building institution:

  • The Coalition for Community Schools, staffed by IEL, now counts 150 communities moving community schools to scale. The more than 1,700 participants at the recent Community Schools National Forum “Rising Together: Learning Across School, Family, and Community,” is testament to the growing community schools movement. This growth elevates the promise of community schools as a central strategy to support strong and healthy schools and communities, and to ensure that young people have the opportunity to thrive.
  • IEL has become a force in the family and community engagement (FCE) space, facilitating a national network of over 125 district FCE leaders and organizing the 3rd National Family & Community Engagement Conference, “Owning our Movement, Maximizing Our Impact.”
  • IEL’s Center for Workforce Development has strengthened the capacity of policymakers, program administrators, and youth service professionals in the education and workforce development systems to provide comprehensive, coordinated transition services to all youth, including those with disabilities. Its work distilling research into best practices, such as the Guideposts for Success, has influenced policy and practice on transitions to adulthood.
  • IEL’s legacy Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) enrolled the largest cohort in the program’s 52-year history with 315 Fellows in 16 states and the District of Columbia. With over 8,500 alumni across 50 states, EPFP remains a premier Fellowship that develops a diverse and collaborative community of strategic leaders for effective public policy.
  • Innovative strategies, such as Leaders for Today and Tomorrow (which develops and supports school, district, and community-based leaders with an emphasis on equity, social justice, and authentic family engagement) and the Youth Service Professionals Initiative (a comprehensive initiative to build staff skills and system capacity) demonstrate continued commitment to cross-boundary leadership.

“It’s been a privilege to serve IEL. I am proud of what my colleagues and I have accomplished together. I am grateful for the support of our many partners. There is so much more work ahead as IEL strives to enable people from the grassroots to the grasstops to work together to help our young people thrive,” said Marty.

“Marty has been a terrific leader. To ensure we now have a smooth and effective transition process, the IEL board has appointed a search committee and will engage Korn Ferry, a global search and talent solutions firm, to assist the process in identifying a strong candidate to lead IEL into the future,” noted Decker Anstrom, former chair of the IEL Board, who will chair the search committee.