Joan McLaughlin Named First-Ever Recipient of CEC Impact Award
Joan McLaughlin, the longest-serving Commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), is the recipient of CEC’s Impact Award. The CEC Impact Award recognizes an individual or community/corporate organization that has had an impact on CEC’s strategic work. McLaughlin is the inaugural recipient of this award.
“We want to thank McLaughlin for her incredible leadership, her steady approach, her focus on improving outcomes for children and youth disabilities, and the priority she placed on seeking out and listening to the diverse voices of families, school personnel, researchers, advocates and others with a stake in the outcomes of special education research,” says CEC President Andrea Jasper.
The nominating committee noted that McLaughlin’s decades of service and stakeholder outreach as some of the key factors of her nomination.
McLaughlin’s recent retirement from NCSER marks the end of a long and illustrious career, in both the public and private sectors . Her career was spent administering and conducting policy analyses research projects, and evaluation studies in human services and education, with a strong emphasis on the welfare of children and families.
Prior to being named Commissioner in 2013, Dr. McLaughlin served as Deputy Commissioner of NCSER, and as the Program Officer for the Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education grant program.
McLaughlin was presented with the award during the annual Special Education Legislative Summit (SELS) on July 9th, 2023. Held during July in Washington, D.C., SELS is an opportunity for educators nationwide to make a difference by advocating for change by meeting with members of Congress. The program is hosted by the Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Council for Exceptional Children.