Dr. Mary Alice McCarthy

Dr. Mary Alice McCarthy is founder and director of the Center on Education and Skills, a policy development and research center in New America, a think tank and civic enterprise that seeks new approaches to American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.  Under her direction, the Center identifies and builds learning-based pathways to economic opportunity that can begin inside or outside of formal higher education. The Center seeks to broaden the number of high quality educational options, apprenticeships, available to students of all ages. Mary Alice’s research examines the intersection between higher education, workforce development and job training policies.

Before she became director, Mary Alice was senior policy analyst at New America where she conducted original research and analysis on opportunities to strengthen the connections between learning, work and economic mobility. The role of federal education and training policy was an area of particular emphasis. She also served on Jobs for the Future’s Policy Leadership Trust, the American Council on Education’s Alternative Credit project, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Career Pathways Exchange, among others.  Mary Alice also held positions at the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor, served as Executive Director of The Riecken Foundation, and taught undergraduate-level political science courses at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for ten years.

Mary Alice earned a doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill, a masters of public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

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