Maria Worthen, MSW is the founder and principal consultant, Education Policy Strategies, LLC. She is a nationally-recognized expert in K-12 education policy.
As the Vice President, Federal & State Policy at the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL), she led the development of the Center for Policy Advocacy and provided testimony, lawmaker education, and technical assistance to the White House, U.S. Department of Education, and to hundreds of state policymakers. She has published numerous articles and papers on federal accountability and assessment, and state policies that support competency-based education, personalized learning, online learning, and blended learning.
Maria served as Education Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. She also worked at the US Department of Education, serving as Congressional Liaison in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs, Program Officer in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Presidential Management Fellow in the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
Earlier in her career, Maria was a pre-school teacher and a social worker, practicing with children and youth in a variety of settings. An Iowa native, she holds a B.A. in Government and Italian Language and Literature from Smith College and a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She is based in Falls Church, Virginia, USA.