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Margaret A. Nygren, EdD, FAAIDD


Executive Director and CEO

Margaret A. Nygren, EdD, Executive Director & CEO of AAIDD since 2010, is responsible for the executive direction, leadership, and management of operations of the organization.  Dr. Nygren oversees the organization’s core functions of education, publications, public policy, and member services.  In addition, she serves on a number of national advisory and scientific committees and frequently speaks at regional, national, and international conferences and events.

Prior to her work at AAIDD, Dr. Nygren held two progressively-responsible positions at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), concluding her service to the organization as the Associate Executive Director for Program Development. In these roles, she secured substantial federal grant and contract funds and directed multiple federally-funded research, technical assistance, training, and dissemination projects for more than 100 major research universities engaged in academic and service activities in the field of intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities.

Additional previous positions include a Fellowship in the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Baltimore, Director of the Center on Aging and Disabilities at the Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC, and Director of Family Support Services and Director of Mental Retardation Services at Kit Clark Senior Services in Boston.

Dr. Nygren earned a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a master's in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University, and a bachelor's in Psychology from Beloit College. In 2021, she completed a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion at Cornell University.

She was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Citation by the Beloit College Alumni Association in 2017, named a Fellow of the AAIDD in 2018, presented with Helen Thompson Memorial Award by the AAIDD Louisiana Chapter in 2019, named as a 2020 National Honoree by the National Historic Recognition Project, for significant national contributions in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US between 2000 and 2020, and named as an Advocate Hero, one of 50 named by EP Magazine in honor of its 50th anniversary of publication in 2021.




Margaret Nygren

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