Mark Strand, only the second President and CEO of the Congressional Institute in its 35-year history, will retire at the end of the year. He has led the Institute for 16 years.
Brenda Becker, Chairwoman of the Institute’s Board of Directors said, “Mark has been a transformational leader. He’s provided a tremendous service to Members of Congress, their staff, and the public. Under his leadership the Institute has expanded its programs in a wide range of areas that serve the Congress and the American public. We’re extremely grateful for his service.”
Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature. The Institute’s core mission is conducting major conferences for the benefit of Members of the U.S. Congress and their staff as well as a number of smaller gatherings, all devoted to an examination of important policy issues and strategic planning. The Institute also as a core mission conducts important research projects, develops resources such as the House Floor Procedures Manual, the book Surviving Inside Congress and holds the bi-partisan Congressional Art Competition.
During Strand’s tenure, the Institute has expanded those programs to include, extensive work on Congressional reform, training and education for congressional offices and the private sector, exchanges with European Parliament, conferences for chiefs of staff, legislative and communications directors, survey research, and a website that provides analysis of national issues and congressional procedure. He developed a website The Sausage Factory blog, which provides an inside look at legislative strategies and procedures.
Strand is a 2017 Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics Fellow. He was also an adjunct professor of legislative affairs at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and the principal coauthor of Surviving Inside Congress. He spent nearly 24 years as a Capitol Hill staffer, in both the House and the Senate. He served as Chief of Staff to Senator Jim Talent (R-MO), and Representatives Bill Lowery (R-CA) and Stan Parris (R-VA).
The Board of Directors will conduct a search for Mark’s replacement under a succession plan developed by Mark and the Board two years ago.
Mark succeeded as President of the Institute co-founder Jerry Climer, who retired in 2007.
Mark is married to Susan Strand, has three daughters, Katie Patru, Caroline Taylor, and Sarah Strand, and five grandchildren.