Mark Runco earned his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the Claremont Graduate School in California and has studied creativity ever since. He is currently the Director of Creativity Research and Programming at Southern Oregon University.

He began his teaching career as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. He then taught at Cal State Fullerton for 22 years. He was also an adjunct professor at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration for nearly 15 years and currently lectures regularly at Universidad de Cantabria in Spain and Shaanxi Normal University in Xi'an, China. He was a distinguished consulting faculty member at the Saybrook Graduate University in San Francisco. He has also held adjunct positions at Buffalo State University and remains Distinguished Research Fellow of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

Mark developed and still teaches seminars on creativity, including "Creativity: What It Is and What It Is Not," "The Assessment of Creativity," "Creative Cognition," and "Social Contexts for Creativity." He is past president of Division 10 (Psychology, Art, Creativity, and Aesthetics) of the American Psychological Association.

Nearly 30 years ago, Mark founded the Creativity Research Journal, which he still edits, and in 2014, he founded the new journal Business Creativity and the Creative Economy. He co-edited the Encyclopedia of Creativity in 1999 and 2011.

In 2010, Mark published the "rCAB" (Runco Creativity Assessment Battery), a comprehensive battery of tests for the assessment of creativity. He has published approximately 200 articles, chapters, and books on creativity, its measurement and enhancement. His textbook Creativity: Theories and Themes: Research, Development, and Practice has been translated into six languages and was revised and expanded in 2014 and again in 2019.