Marie O’Hara

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Marie O'HaraAssociate Director, Policy & Practice 

As Associate Director of the Policy & Practice team, Marie manages Achieve’s annual 50-state survey and report researching state policy adoption and implementation efforts in aligning standards, graduation requirements, assessments, data, and accountability systems with the demands of college and careers. 

Prior to joining Achieve in 2008, Marie spent four years at the American Institutes for Research working as a research associate on a number of federally-funded education projects, including the National Center for Technology Innovation, the Reading First program, and the What Works Clearinghouse. Marie also spent a year as a research fellow with the Center for Research on Children in the U.S. researching the effectiveness of the Tulsa Public Schools pre-K program.

A Philadelphia native, Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wake Forest University and a master’s of public policy from Georgetown University where she wrote her thesis on the relationship between state-level education policies and high school academic achievement. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her husband and son.

Why are you passionate about education?

“High expectations were a given in my house growing up, shaping both who I am and how I strive to live. Looking back, I greatly benefited from knowing where important mile markers were set. For too many kids, though, there is neither the support nor the systems in place to guide their early steps along their educational path. What’s more, the systems may actually be detouring, misleading, or underestimating their potential. We all deserve to be held to high expectations, and have access to the right information at the right time, to make the best choices for ourselves and our families and to maximize our potential. Working at Achieve helps me professionally further this personally held conviction.”

Phone: (202) 419-1562