Appointment of Mary Ellen O'Connell as Executive Director of DBASSE
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Behavioral and Social
Sciences and Education


October 28, 2016

Appointment of Mary Ellen O'Connell as Executive Director of DBASSE

Mary Ellen O'Connell has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine effective on November 14, 2016.  Mary Ellen's selection comes after an extensive national search. She succeeds Robert M. Hauser, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

Mary Ellen brings to her new role 15 years of experience at the National Academies, including as Deputy Executive Director of DBASSE since 2012, providing valuable leadership in program management and in program and policy development.  She has also served as the Acting Director of the Board on Environmental Change and Society, as Deputy Director of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences and the Board on Human-Systems Integration, and as a Senior Program Officer with the Board on Children, Youth and Families.  She has led studies on a wide range of topics including an evaluation of disability and rehabilitation program outcomes; home healthcare; prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders; ethical considerations for research; and an evaluation of international education programs. 

Prior to joining the National Academies, Mary Ellen developed and led a variety of policy and program initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare.  Mary Ellen received a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.S. in the management of human services from the Heller Graduate School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
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