Washington, D.C. – Margaret Nygren, EdD has been chosen as the new Executive Director of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the organization’s Board of Directors announced Monday. Dr. Nygren will begin her tenure in March 2010. Her appointment by the AAIDD Board of Directors follows a nationwide search.
Dr. Nygren will be responsible for AAIDD’s efforts to promote progressive government policies which effect change at a national level, support sound research in the field, model best practices for community-based services, and achieve recognition of basic and universal human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
As Executive Director, Dr. Nygren will serve as AAIDD’s chief representative to policymakers, the media, and the association’s membership of thousands of professionals in North America and around the world. She will also be responsible for the daily administration of the organization and for coordination with the organization’s Board of Directors.
“We are delighted that Maggie Nygren will continue the passionate and active leadership that the Association has experienced these last two decades with Doreen Croser as the Executive Director”, stated
Since 1876, AAIDD has been providing worldwide leadership in the field of mental retardation. AAIDD, (formerly AAMR -- American Association of Mental Retardation) is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and citizens concerned about intellectual and developmental disabilities.
With membership over 5,000 strong in the
Dr. Nygren was Associate Executive Director for Program Development at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) from 2007 until early 2010. In this position, she oversaw the planning and implementation of federally funded projects which coordinated the activity of research centers on disabilities across the United States. Between 2007 and 2009, she was responsible for the publication of AUCD’s annual report on the activities of its network of research centers, and as AUCD Technical Assistance Director from 2004 until 2007, she managed the agency’s information reporting system.
Dr. Nygren was appointed through the presidential New Freedom Initiative to a two-year fellowship as Technical Advisor to the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2002 until 2004. The federal agency, based in Baltimore, is focused on guaranteeing quality health care coverage to individuals served by Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Nygren wrote draft legislation which was adopted by Congress in 2005 as section 6071 of the Deficit Reduction Act. The legislation resulted in the Money Follows the Person program, a system of grants to assist states in moving individuals with disabilities and the elderly from institutions to community-based care. She also organized the 2003 Real Choice Systems Change conference, which was attended by professionals from all fifty states.
From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Nygren was the Director of the Center on Aging and Disabilities at the Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, D.C. As the center’s first director, she led its efforts to provide technical assistance to providers, encourage progressive public policy, and support research to determine the best supports for older individuals with developmental disabilities.
From 1996 to 2000, Dr. Nygren was successively the Director of Family Support Services and Director of Mental Retardation Services at Kit Clark Senior Services in Boston, a nonprofit provider of community-based services.
Dr. Nygren earned a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2002 holds an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Beloit College.