Mark Smith is currently serving his 9th term in the Iowa House. Before being elected House Democratic Leader, he served as an Assistant Democratic Leader and on the Administration and Rules, Environmental Protection, Ethics, Human Resources, Judiciary and Legislative Council committees.
Mark Smith was born in Osceola, Iowa on January 5, 1952, the son of R. Eugene and Betty Danner Smith. His family lived on a farm near Osceola until moving to Winterset, where Mark graduated from high school in 1970 and received a college scholarship.
After graduation, Mark worked in a special nutritional and recreational program for children through Iowa State Extension Services. That led him to study social work first at Graceland College (BA, 1974) and then the University of Iowa (MSW, 1986).
Mark has spent his entire career helping people. He has worked with troubled children and their families, treated substance abuse, directed services to the mentally ill, and made sure nursing homes provide quality care for the elderly. Mark was among the first to provide early mental health counseling to children through the schools. He was the Director of Special Projects at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit of Central Iowa (SATUCI).
He is often called on to train substance abuse counselors and social workers. Mark was one of two members of the Iowa General Assembly to work at the World Trade Center following the attack on America on 9-11-01.
Mark and his wife, Karen Lischer, have been married for 26 years. They have a daughter, Allie. Mark is the former foster parent of two, Kevin Eggert of Clearfield and Darwin Eggert of Henok, and is now a grandparent to eleven foster grandchildren.
Mark attends Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he serves as an Elder and teaches Sunday school to adults with special needs.
Mark is an avid bicyclist who has ridden numerous RAGBRAIs and bicycle treks in other states. He is past president of the Marshalltown Morning Optimist Club.