Jim Lark

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James Lark III
Born Pulaski, Virginia
Residence Charlottesville, Virginia
Education M.S. in Mathematics, Ph.D in Systems engineering
Alma mater Virginia Tech, University of Virginia
Occupation Lecturer at University of Virginia
Political party Libertarian
Board member of Advocates for Self-Government, International Society for Individual Liberty, Students For Liberty

James W. Lark III currently serves as a professor of systems engineering and applied mathematics at the University of Virginia. He served as the United States Libertarian Party National Chairman from 2000 to 2002.

On February 19, 2007, the Libertarian Party of Virginia awarded Lark the designation of "Libertarian Leader" for 2007 in recognition of his many contributions to the Libertarian Party. Lark is the fourth person to be so honored [1].

Since May 2009, Lark is the chairman of the Advocates for Self-Government.[1] He also serves on the board of directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty as well as the board of advisers of the pro-liberty student organization Students For Liberty, and has spoken at their conferences across North America and Europe.[2] He is a member of the Board of Advisers of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland.

He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va. Tech) and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Lark has served as visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech. He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester. He has also served as a visiting scholar in the Department of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Department of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of publications in mathematics, operations research, and artificial intelligence. His solution procedure for finite-horizon partially observed Markov decision processes is known in the research literature as the "Lark algorithm" (or "Lark filtering algorithm").[3]

He has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1983. He currently serves as the Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee. In addition, he is a member of the LNC's Executive Committee. He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000–2002 term, and as secretary pro tem during part of the 2012–2014 term. He served as an at-large member of the LNC during the 1998–2000 term, and as a regional representative during the 2004–2006, 2006–2008, 2008–2010, 2010–2012, and 2012–2014 terms. He was a member of the Libertarian Party's Platform Committee in 1991, 1998, 2010, and 2012, and a member of the Bylaws Committee in 2000. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.[4]

Lark is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Jefferson award (the Party's highest honor), given at national LP conventions for lifetime achievement. He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams award (given at national LP conventions to the member deemed the most effective activist) and the 2012 Thomas Paine award (given at national LP conventions to the member deemed the most effective communicator). He is the only person to win each of these awards.[5]

He currently serves as the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, he also serves as Local Affiliate Parties Committee chairman and the campus coordinator for the LPVA. He is the secretary of the Jefferson Area Libertarians in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has previously served as its vice-chairman.

Lark currently serves as advisory to The Liberty Coalition and its constituent organizations at the University of Virginia. He founded several of the Coalition organizations while a graduate student at the University of Virginia. He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians throughout the country on promoting libertarian ideas on campus. He has conducted several campus organizing tours on behalf of the LP. He has lectured and conducted workshops on campus organizing at many state Libertarian Party conventions, and at the Libertarian Party national conventions in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2014. He served as a member of the Libertarian Leadership School faculty, and as a member of the Libertarian Party's "Success '97" and "Success '99" Leadership Seminar faculty.

Party political offices
Preceded by
David Bergland
U.S. Libertarian Party National Chairman
2000 – 2002
Succeeded by
Geoff Neale


  1. ^ "Advocates for Self-Government". Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  2. ^ "SFL Board of Advisers". Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Lark Alogorithim" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Libertarian Party Website". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Libertarian Party Awards". Retrieved 13 January 2014.

External links

  • Lark's homepage
  • Lark's RateMyProfessor's Page
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
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