About Gary Marx

“An interesting thing happened on the way to achieving our goals. The world changed!”

Gary Marx, CAE, APR, is a noted author, futurist, education and leadership counsel, social observer, public intellectual, seasoned executive, and international speaker.  He is president of the Center for Public Outreach, with headquarters in Vienna, Virginia.  CPO is an organization he founded in 1998, which provides counsel on future-oriented leadership, communication, education, community, and democracy.  Marx has been called an “intellectual entrepreneur, who is always pursuing ideas,” and a “deep generalist.”

As an international speaker, workshop leader, and consultant, Marx has worked with educators, business people, and other community and government leaders in all 50 of the United States, across Canada and Mexico, and on six continents.  He has visited 81 countries.

As a futurist, Marx has directed a number of futures studies and is author or co-author of numerous books and articles.  His latest book, Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century, is available in both print and electronic forms at www.edweek.org/go/21Trends.  A companion book, Future-Focused Leadership, is available at http://www.ascd.org/Publications/Books/Overview/Future-Focused-Leadership.aspx.

Books by Gary Marx open a window on massive trends that impact every person and institution.  For many, they are a good read…a way to get and stay in touch with a fast-changing world.  His books are frequently used as texts or sub-texts for courses ranging from leadership and education to strategy development and futures studies.  Marx’s trends analysis is used in environmental scanning, planning, and in stimulating discussion about the implications of persistent or emerging forces for people, organizations, communities, and countries.  He shares techniques for envisioning alternative futures, stimulating discussion and decisions about “what we should become” in light of a 24/7/365 world in constant motion.  Marx observes that some institutions and societies need to consider anything from subtle changes to complete resets.

His international assignments have taken him from the northern Andean region of Peru and desert areas of Jordan to the Pacific coast of Russia, communities across Senegal, numerous cities and towns in several parts of Argentina, and speaking platforms and conference rooms across Europe and Asia.  Marx frequently works with students who are developing civic education projects to improve life in their communities and countries.  He is an on-the-ground communicator who attempts to understand people and issues and offer counsel, in many settings and at all levels.

Prior to starting his own firm, Marx spent nearly 20 years as a senior executive for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).  He was a television and radio “on-air” broadcaster and station owner before moving into education.  After leaving broadcasting, he continued to do narrations, commercials, and public service announcements, some carried by stations in all U.S. states and territories.  He served as a school administrator for the then 10,000-student Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, and the then 82,000-student Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado (metropolitan Denver).  Marx returned to Jefferson County to advise on strategy in the wake of the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School.

For many years, Marx has served as a source for local, national, and international news media on issues affecting education and society and has been quoted on a broad range of forces that have an impact on society.  He has appeared as a guest on numerous television and radio talk shows.  He served for nearly two decades as a member of the National Teacher of the Year Selection Committee and is one of five founders of the National Superintendent of the Year program.  His leadership has extended to media education, and he has been both a founder and member of significant groups that have advised producers and networks on children’s television and other educational programming.  Marx has been a member of the PBS Education Advisory Board, NBC’s “The More You Know” Advisory Board, and the Emmy Awards Selection Committee.  During 2007, he served on a twelve-member Washington Post Project 2025 Panel, conceiving of scenarios for the future of the Washington, D.C., Metro Area.

For nearly two decades, Marx served as emcee/announcer for the Presidential Scholars annual gala program in the Concert Hall and Eisenhower Theater at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

In 2014, Gary Marx was president of the honorary Horace Mann League after serving on the organization’s board.  Marx is a professional member of the World Future Society.  His many civic appointments have included national education advisory boards to commemorate the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution and for restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

In his native South Dakota, he has been a member of the Boards of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society and the Harvey Dunn Society.  Marx also worked with members of the community to create the Manchester Monument, in commemoration of his home town, which was destroyed by a 2003 tornado.  While living in Omaha, he played a key role in establishing a neighborhood organization, the Keystone Community Task Force, declared at the time one of the best in the state.  He also served as a Mayoral appointed member of the Omaha Parks and Recreation Board and the Omaha Urban Growth Policy Advisory Council.

Marx was presented the coveted President’s Award by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) in 1999 and the Distinguished Service Award by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) in 2000.  Both recognize his lifetime achievement.  In 2016, Marx  received the Outstanding Friend of the Horace Mann League Award.  He served as HML President in 2014.  In 2017, Marx was recognized as a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and of the Who’s Who Distinguished Humanitarian Award.  Marx is accredited by NSPRA, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).