The Search is Over: Meet President Robert T. Jordan

Claire Rulyak, Managing Editor

After over a year of searching, a new president has been selected to lead Seattle Prep. The search began shortly after the former President Kent Hickey resigned. A presidential search committee was put together last March, and in the meantime, Mr. George Hofbauer has served as interim president. After many rounds of interviews, Mr. Robert T. Jordan has been elected. A life-long resident of California and promoter of social justice, Jordan said he will “put Prep first”, and that “we will work together, as a community, based in mission”.

Jordan currently works as chief of staff for national enterprise business services at Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals based in Oakland, CA. However, he has been involved in education since his career began. He was first a religious studies teacher and director of campus ministry in Concord, CA. There, he worked within the De La Salle Christian Brothers, an association that Jordan referred to as “first cousins” to the Jesuits.

Jordan’s experiences with the De La Salle Christian Brothers are sure to transfer over into education, and interestingly, Jordan said that this experience in healthcare will as well. According to Jordan “in healthcare, things are constantly changing, and education is the same way” and “We’ve got to be constantly evolving”. This adaptability is one of the keys to leadership for Jordan and brings a new perspective for Prep.

Despite his positive experiences in healthcare, Jordan says that the pandemic was a driving force in bringing his back to education. Along with the daunting task of working from home for two years, Jordan says he missed education more than anything else. “I missed the day-today opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives. I missed a sense of community”. At Seattle Prep, Jordan sees that he will be able to find these aspects of his career again.

Speaking with a few members of student council solidified Jordan’s positive impression of Prep. “I’m excited to be a part of this Ignatian experience with so many students invested in it. It drew me to this school,” he said. Jordan has made it clear that mission reaches aspects of both his personal and professional life,

In his free time, Jordan serves as the chair of the Napa Farmers’ Market. He shared that he has learned a great deal from this experience about sustainable farming and how farmers’ markets serve families on the margins. Jordan said that his time and social justice work in the Napa Farmers’ Market Community and is excited to check out the farmers’ market scene here in Seattle following his move.

Jordan’s first official day on campus in fast approaching with the second semester. With his arrival, interest on his early role at Prep has circled the community. “For the semester, I think I just want to absorb,” said Jordan. “I want to absorb the culture here and understand context because if a leader comes and just starts making changes, that could be disastrous.”