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A New Executive Director Is Appointed

Governing Board Appoints New Executive Director

Lesley Muldoon Brings Expertise in Assessment Policy, Management

For Immediate Release: Mar. 4, 2019
Contact: Stephaan Harris | (202) 357-7504 |

WASHINGTON—The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for The Nation’s Report Card, has selected Lesley Muldoon as its new executive director after an extensive search.

Muldoon, who is the chief of policy and advocacy at CenterPoint Education Solutions, will be responsible for overseeing the execution of policies and projects initiated by the independent and nonpartisan Board. She will also serve as chief of staff for the Board and ensure that it continues to develop sound policies to guide the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a large-scale assessment program that measures student achievement across the nation, all 50 states and 27 large urban districts.

Muldoon has a deep background in both assessment and nonprofit governance and management. She helped to launch and manage the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and managed a team responsible for the rollout of the assessments in 10 member states in the spring of 2015. She went on to play a leading role in creating and managing two nonprofit organizations: Parcc, Inc., the organizational home for the assessments where she served as chief operating officer; and then CenterPoint Education Solutions, the parent company of Parcc, Inc., which she joined in 2017.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Lesley Muldoon as the next executive director of the Governing Board,” said Gov. Bev Perdue, the chair of the Board. “She’s the perfect fit for the position. She brings experience working with boards of directors to make decisions on key aspects of assessment policy, test development, and implementation. She also has the management experience to lead our talented staff as they work with the Governing Board to carry out our strategic vision.” 

Before joining PARCC, Muldoon held several positions at Achieve—a nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization that served as the project manager for PARCC—related to the organization and launch of the testing consortium. These included managing PARCC’s successful application for $186 million in federal funding. She also conducted policy research and analysis related to standards, assessment, and accountability. Earlier in her career, Muldoon served as an aide to former U.S. Representative Rush D. Holt of New Jersey.

Muldoon joins the staff of the 26-member Governing Board—made up of state, local and federal officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the public—as it continues its efforts to innovate, many in conjunction with the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP.

“I’m eager to bring fresh ideas and energy to the Governing Board as we usher in the next generation of NAEP assessments,” Muldoon said. “In an era of significant economic and policy change, it’s critical that parents, policymakers, and the public have the ability to tell how well their state’s education system is preparing students for the future. NAEP’s reputation as the gold standard in assessment means it can continue to provide clarity about student progress and understanding postsecondary preparedness. I’m looking forward to building on this tradition of trust and reliability in pursuing the Governing Board’s commitment to inform and innovate.”

Muldoon, who will begin her new position in April, replaces Bill Bushaw, who retired as executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board in August 2018.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. She also holds a certificate in international business and program management from the University of Oxford in England.

Download the PDF version of the release here.

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The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee and set policy for NAEP.