Jacob Oliva is secretary of the Arkansas Department of Education and commissioner of the department’s division of elementary and secondary education. Prior to his time in Arkansas, he was senior chancellor for the Florida Department of Education and oversaw the division of public schools.

Oliva began his career in Flagler County, Florida, as an elementary school special education teacher. He was also an elementary and high school principal and an assistant superintendent and superintendent in Flagler County Schools. During his tenure as superintendent, Oliva expanded learning opportunities for students through voluntary pre-kindergarten; dual enrollment; acceleration courses; and industry certification programs. He also implemented the Turnaround Leadership Project to improve the lowest-performing schools. Under his leadership, student achievement in Flagler Schools increased from 22nd to 11th in the state.

An alumnus of the sixth cohort of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program, Oliva earned his master’s in education leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a bachelor’s in elementary education and exceptional children from Flagler College.