McLaughlin Named Acting Commissioner of NCSER

June 5, 2013

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director John Q. Easton announced that Joan McLaughlin, the current deputy commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), has been named acting commissioner, effective July 1, 2013. McLaughlin has been serving as NCSER deputy commissioner since February 2009, providing leadership for the special education research and research training programs, as well as serving as the program officer for the early intervention and early learning in special education grant program.


Before joining IES, McLaughlin spent 16 years at Abt Associates, Inc., where she worked in the education and family services area as principal investigator or project director for evaluations of federal education, food assistance, and early childhood programs. McLaughlin replaces Deborah Speece, who is leaving after serving 2 years as commissioner to become associate dean of research and faculty development in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

NCSER, one of four centers in the Institute of Education Sciences, supports a comprehensive program of special education research designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities or at risk for disabilities. The center also funds research training programs for the next generation of education researchers.

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For more information, please see the announcement on NCSER's website or contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, via e-mail at or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.

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