2018 Conference Speakers 

ARTHUR LEVINE 
President of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation
Opening Plenary Speaker

MAUREEN MCLAUGHLIN 
Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Education 
Association Breakfast Speaker

LEYMAH GBOWEE
Nobel Laureate and Liberian Peace Activist 

Closing Plenary Speaker 


Arthur Levine ARTHUR LEVINE 
President of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation
Opening Plenary Speaker

Arthur Levine is the sixth president of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Before his appointment at Woodrow Wilson, he was president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He also previously served as chair of the higher education program, chair of the Institute for Educational Management, and senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Levine is the author of 12 books and dozens of articles and reviews, including a series of reports for the Education Schools Project on the preparation of school leaders, teachers, and education researchers. His most recent book is Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student (with Diane Dean, 2012). Among his other volumes are Unequal Fortunes: Snapshots from the South BronxWhen Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today’s College Student (with Jeanette S. Cureton); Beating the Odds: How the Poor Get to College(with Jana Nidiffer); Higher Learning in AmericaShaping Higher Education’s FutureWhen Dreams and Heroes Died: A Portrait of Today’s College StudentsHandbook on Undergraduate CurriculumQuest for Common Learning (with Ernest Boyer); Opportunity in Adversity (with Janice Green); and Why Innovation Fails. His numerous commentaries appear in such publications as The New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostEducation Week; and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Levine has received numerous honors, including Carnegie, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller Fellowships as well as the American Council on Education’s Book of the Year award (for Reform of Undergraduate Education), the Educational Press Association’s Annual Award for writing (three times), and 25 honorary degrees. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently sits on the boards of Say Yes to Education and Motivis Learning.

Dr. Levine was also previously President of Bradford College (1982-1989) and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Foundation and Carnegie Council for Policy Studies in Higher Education (1975-1982). He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


MAUREEN MCLAUGHLIN 
Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Education 
Association Breakfast Speaker

Maureen McLaughlin is a senior advisor to the secretary of education and director of international affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. In this position, she has led and coordinated the Department’s international activities and engagement since August 2010. She also spearheaded the development of its first international strategy, which is designed to simultaneously strengthen U.S. education and advance U.S. international priorities. The key objectives of the strategy are to increase the global competencies of U.S. students, learn from other countries to improve U.S. teaching and learning, and engage in active education diplomacy.

Prior to joining the Department in 2010, McLaughlin worked for eight years at the World Bank as lead education specialist and education sector manager. In those positions, she worked with ministers of education and finance, and other senior officials in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Turkey to provide strategic direction and technical leadership for improving education from preschool through tertiary education. McLaughlin led, managed, and built up the Bank's regional education team, and led the Bank’s education work for Turkey and Uzbekistan. She also initiated an annual conference on education for government officials in the region, bringing together international expertise and regional experience to create a collaborative learning opportunity. 

Immediately before joining the World Bank, McLaughlin was a Public Policy Fellow in the New Zealand Ian Axford program run by Fulbright New Zealand. She worked in the Ministry of Education, examining tertiary education reforms that began in New Zealand in the mid-1980s, as well as identifying an opportunity gap in college access and suggesting ways to close it.

Between 1988 and 2002, McLaughlin held several senior positions at the U.S. Department of Education, including acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the beginning of two new administrations (1993 and 2001), deputy assistant secretary for policy, planning and innovation (1993–2002), and director of the postsecondary education division in the Planning and Evaluation Service (1988–1993). In these positions, she was a leader in shaping and implementing many of the Department’s policy initiatives, including student loan default reduction efforts, creation of direct student loans and income contingent repayment, creation of GEAR-UP, and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

McLaughlin joined the Senior Executive Service in 1990, and was awarded the highest awards for government service, the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award (1998) and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award (1996). From 1979 to 1988, she was principal, associate and assistant analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, working on postsecondary education, employment and training, public service employment, and welfare reform.

McLaughlin holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College, majoring in economics and graduating summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


LEYMAH GBOWEE
Nobel Laureate and Liberian Peace Activist 

Closing Plenary Speaker 

2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker and women’s rights advocate.

She is founder and current President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa. She was the founding head of the Liberian Reconciliation Initiative, and was the co-Founder and former Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-A). She is also a founding member and former Liberia Coordinator of Women in Peacebuilding Network/West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WIPNET/WANEP). Leymah is currently named a Distinguished Activist in Residence at Union Theological Seminary. She travels internationally to advocate for human rights and peace & security.

 Leymah’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace – which brought together Christian and Muslim women in a nonviolent movement that played a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s civil war in 2003 – is chronicled in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the award-winning documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. She has appeared on numerous television programs including CNN, BBC, and France24.

Leymah currently serves as a member of the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, Gbowee Peace Foundation, Federation of Liberian Youth, and the PeaceJam Foundation, and she is a member of the African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and Family Planning. Leymah is an Oxfam Global Ambassador, and received the Women’s Refugee Council’s Voices of Courage Award in 2014. She has received honorary degrees from Rhodes University in South Africa, the University of Alberta in Canada, Polytechnic University in Mozambique, Cedar Crest College in the United States, and University of Dundee in Scotland. She holds a M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA.

Leymah is the proud mother of six children.