Ҵý Welcomes Chief Academic Officer Dr. Robert Lundin

Dr. Robert Lundin is the district’s new Chief Academic Officer.

Ҵý is welcoming Dr. Robert Lundin as the district’s new Chief Academic Officer. His work will include developing short and long-range goals for district programs, advising the superintendent on educational issues, coordinating support for principals and teachers, and implementing a systemic approach to curriculum development and evaluation. He will also be tasked with fostering partnerships with higher education institutions and community organizations to further the district’s goals.

Dr. Lundin holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, a master’s degree in bilingual & ESL education from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, TX, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and policy studies from Rice University, also in Houston, where he graduated with honors. He is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Lundin’s career has encompassed a variety of roles in education. He began his career as a bilingual fifth grade teacher at Macario Garcia Elementary School in Houston, TX, and would go on to teach with distinction on the middle and high school levels. Anchored in this understanding of effective educational leadership and teaching and learning practices, Dr. Lundin proceeded to found and lead YES Prep – Southwest: a college preparatory public school targeted to the region’s under-served student populations.

Following his successful establishment of the school, Dr. Lundin brought his skills to the United Kingdom where he served as a founding regional director of Teach First: a nationwide educational charity dedicated to recruiting, training, supporting, and developing teachers for service in impoverished communities.

Upon his return to the United States, Dr. Lundin focused his energies on the turnaround of struggling schools across multiple contexts. In his capacities as School Support Officer, Executive Director, and Assistant Superintendent of the Houston and Spring Independent School Districts, he oversaw various comprehensive educational initiatives and successfully led turnaround efforts in struggling schools. He would ultimately be selected as a founding member of the Houston Independent School District’s “Elementary Transformation Team” for his demonstrated impact in fostering the improvement of under-performing schools. During this period, Dr. Lundin also served as an Assistant Professor and education faculty member at Rice University and the University of Saint Thomas, where he designed and taught courses in Urban Education, Contemporary Issues in Education, Educational Leadership, School Law, Educational Diversity, and Learning Theory.

In 2019, Dr. Lundin was appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to serve as Assistant Commissioner of the state’s Department of Education. Most recently, Dr. Lundin has served as a Strategic Consultant at Suttle Freeman, LLC & Burns / Van Fleet Educational Consulting, advising superintendents, school boards, and organizational leaders on long-term strategy.

“After a thorough interview process of a strong pool of candidates from Iowa and throughout the United States, Dr. Lundin stood out as an instructionally focused leader and systems changer,” said Superintendent Dr. Ian Roberts. “His experiences and vision for systemic academic excellence bodes well for the radical improvement of curriculum and instruction, as well as teaching and learning for our 30,800 students and the almost 5,000 adults who serve them.”

As Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Lundin will work closely with district leadership, school administrators, and community stakeholders to ensure the delivery of high-quality education and support services.

“Over the past twenty-five years, I have dedicated my life to the prospect of fostering outstanding academic opportunities and outcomes for students and families in urban communities,” said Dr. Lundin. “Des Moines is an incredibly dynamic city, and its schools reflect the richness and complexity of the communities they serve. I am passionate about supporting educators and school leaders with the tools and insights they need to transform the academic and personal trajectories of their students, and it will be my aim as Ҵý’s Chief Academic Officer to empower my teammates to make their visions of success for their students, schools, and families a reality.”

Dr. Lundin began work at Ҵý in May of 2024, following Des Moines School Board approval.