Mark Houser

Senior Academic and Student Programs Director


Mark Houser is the Senior Academic and Student Programs Director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity.

Mark leads the student programs team and oversees the center’s research fellowships and other developmental programs for students.

Before joining CGO, Mark ran the student programs department of the Cato Institute for more than four years. In that capacity, he selected and managed nearly 400 interns. In addition to running Cato’s rigorous internship program, Mark hosted thousands of visiting students, operated seminars, collaborated with student-oriented non-profit organizations, and handled other aspects of Cato’s student outreach, education, and professional development.

Prior to leading Cato’s Student Programs department, Mark was a research assistant with Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom, where his work focused on issues pertaining to school choice, the cost of higher education, and values-based conflicts in public schools.

Mark studied international relations at Michigan State University, and he completed his degree while interning with Cato’s Defense and Foreign Policy department.

In his free time, Mark enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and hiking, powerlifting, and excellent coffee.