James C. Rahn became president of The Kern Family Foundation in February 2008. In this role, he directs the expansion and establishment of programs that equip the rising generation of Americans to become leaders and innovators. He joined the Foundation in 2007 as the Education Reform program director.

Rahn’s diverse career is united by his passion for education entrepreneurship. After teaching and serving as a principal in several Lutheran schools, he moved to Milwaukee in 1997 to act as regional coordinator for the Wisconsin Lutheran High School conference.

In 1998, Rahn joined the expanding school choice environment by co-founding HOPE Christian Schools, Inc., which now operates five schools in Milwaukee. Then, in 2001, he became a professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he founded the WLC Center for Urban Teaching.

A few years later, Rahn co-founded Educational Enterprises, Inc., an organization that provides students with world-class learning opportunities. EEI operates HOPE Christian Schools, EAGLE College Prep Schools, and Compass Educational Programs.

He serves on the boards of several organizations including the Acton Institute, the Charter School Growth Fund, and Project Lead The Way.


B.S., Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN
M.A., Concordia University, River Forest, IL
Doctor of business and economics, honoris causa, Milwaukee School of Engineering

Organizational Affiliations

American Enterprise Institute – National Council Member
Charter School Growth Fund, Inc. – Director
Compass Educational Partners, Inc. – Co-founder & Director
EAGLE South Mountain Charter, Inc – Director
EAGLE South Mountain Property, Inc. – Director
Educational Enterprises, Inc. – Director
Educational Enterprises Real Estate Holding Co., LLC – Director
HOPE Christian Schools, Inc. – Co-founder & Director
Milwaukee School of Engineering – Regent
Project Lead the Way – Director

Past Organizational Affiliations

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty – Director
Alliance for Choices in Education – Director
Center for Humanities, Art, and Religion in Society – Director
Great Hearts America – Director
School Choice Demonstration Project – Senior Research Associate
Urban School Leadership Consortium – Member of Collaborative Council
WELS Forward with Lutheran Schools – Lead Consultant
WELS Parish Assistance – Associate Consultant