IBE President and CEO Rod Gramer believes that education is the most powerful way to set young people up for success in school, work, and life and help them obtain the American Dream however they define it. He also believes deeply in the dignity of every person and their inalienable right to have an equal opportunity for success, happiness, and self-fulfillment.
Rod is also passionate about his native state, Idaho, and works every day at IBE to improve the quality of life for its citizens through a strong education system and a prosperous economy.
Before joining IBE as its first full-time president in 2013, Rod spent 38 years working as a reporter, newspaper editor, and television news executive. He worked for The Idaho Statesman for 14 years, serving as Political Editor and Editorial Page Editor and columnist. He spent 10 years as Executive News Director at KTVB, the NBC affiliate in Boise, including moderating the Viewpoint public affairs program. For 13 years he served as Executive News Director at the NBC station in Portland, Oregon, turning KGW into the Number One source of broadcast news for the Portland metropolitan area. He finished his journalism career as Vice President and General Manager of Bay News 9, a 24-hour news station in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Rod is the author of two books: “Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church,” which he co-authored with Historian LeRoy Ashby. This definitive biography of Idaho’s long-time U.S. Senator won the Evans Biography Prize from Utah State University in 1994. Rod is also the author of a novel, “The Good Assassin.” A third book on former Governor Phil Batt is scheduled to be published by Caxton Printers in the spring of 2021. Rod has written articles for numerous publications, including The New Republic, USA Today, Changes magazine, and numerous newspapers throughout Idaho.
Rod serves on several community boards, including The University of Idaho Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the advisory board for the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho and as chair of the Advisory Board for the University of Idaho’s WWAMI Medical Education Program which is in partnership with the University of Washington School of Medicine. Rod also serves on the Frank Church Institute Board at Boise State University and on the Board of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. Rod was a founding board member of the City Club of Boise and served two terms as president of the Idaho Press Club. For the past four years Rod has been one of Idaho’s representatives on the Education Commission of the States.
Rod was born and raised in Boise. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Journalism and History. His wife, Julie, is a third generation Idaho native, and is also a graduate of the University of Idaho. Rod and Julie have been married for 43 years. Julie is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Boise. They have two children. Their daughter Jennifer received her doctorate in History from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she lives with her husband, Lukas Wilhelmi. Their son Robbie is a reporter for Foreign Policy in Washington, D.C., where he covers diplomacy and national security issues.