Sunday Opening General Session
Walt MacDonald became the sixth President and CEO of Educational Testing Service on January 1, 2014, 30 years after he joined the company as an assessment specialist with an expertise in science. Over the course of his career, he has led nearly every major program-guiding each to grow and achieve the mission of ETS.
MacDonald came to ETS in 1984. As a Science Assessment Specialist, he redesigned the College Board’s Advanced Placement® biology curriculum and exam. In the late 1980s, he directed test development for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card. Rising through the organization, he directed the Advanced Placement program through incredible growth, and later led the College Board®, Higher Education, K-12, and Teacher Licensure divisions of ETS.
MacDonald was appointed Executive Vice President in 2009 and took on more responsibilities when Chief Operating Officer was added to his title the following year. As COO, he was responsible for all of ETS’s business and operational divisions. Now as President and CEO, his highest priority is to achieve the mission of the nonprofit organization-advancing quality and equity in education for all people worldwide. As he often says, “our mission is why we exist as an organization. The work of all of us at ETS is focused on improving teaching and learning, expanding opportunity for all individuals, and informing education and policy. This is how we’ll help individuals and society and achieve our mission.”
MacDonald earned an associate degree in science at Camden County Community College, a bachelor’s degree in biology at Rutgers University in Camden, and a doctorate in ecology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.