Before joining the World Bank, Maureen McLaughlin was deputy assistant secretary for policy, planning, and innovation in the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Office of Postsecondary Education, where she was responsible for shaping and developing new directions in federal programs for postsecondary education. McLaughlin has also been acting as assistant secretary for postsecondary education since January 2001 and during her tenure in ED has served as senior policy advisor to the assistant secretary for postsecondary education and director of the postsecondary education division of the Planning and Evaluation Service.
Previously McLaughlin was an analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office advising on issues in postsecondary education, employment and training, public service employment, and welfare reform. McLaughlin was awarded the rank of Distinguished Executive in the Senior Executive Service by President Clinton for exceptional performance in government leadership. She is a frequent speaker on postsecondary education issues and initiatives. Active in local affairs, she has chaired the Arlington County (Virginia) Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee and has served on the Commission on Arlington's Future and the Board of the Arlington Symphony.
During her fellowship McLaughlin will examine New Zealand's reform efforts in tertiary education and identify lessons that can be shared between the United States and New Zealand.