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ETS News & Insights


Kara McWilliams Named General Manager of Research Laboratories at ETS

Contact: Kristen Lacaillade
Phone: 908-310-0306


(Princeton, NJ – May 28, 2020) – As ETS continues to innovate and create the assessments and learning tools of tomorrow, the organization announced today that Kara McWilliams has been named General Manager of Research Laboratories within the organization’s Research & Development (R&D) division.

In this role, McWilliams will advance the application and use of ETS’s robust portfolio of existing and emerging capabilities and technologies in the development of user-centric assessment and learning prototypes. Foundational and applied educational and learning science research conducted at ETS will be transferred into practical, feasible and effective solutions that address the pressing and unique needs of learners and educators now and in the future.

McWilliams comes to ETS from Macmillan Learning where she served as Vice President of Learning Science and Impact Research, leading teams of learning scientists, validity and efficacy researchers, and data scientists. She has also previously held positions at both Pearson® and The College Board®.

“Kara’s strong leadership skills and highly collaborative approach to aligning the goals of research and development to an organizational mission will be an invaluable asset to us as she joins ETS,” said Joanna Gorin, Vice President of Research at ETS. “We look forward to this new chapter for R&D as we take intentional steps to reimagine the role of research in serving learners and educators around the world.”

As General Manager of the Research Laboratories, McWilliams is responsible for the establishment and oversight of three inaugural research laboratories — Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Workplace and Educational Assessment; Language Learning, Teaching and Assessment Technologies; and Learning Analytics and Personalized Learning, as well as the existing research Foundry, a research group currently focused on short-term user-centered research and prototype development.

“I am excited to build on the decades of rigorous research at ETS and be part of the continued transformation of this work,” said McWilliams. “I look forward to leading teams that will integrate learning sciences with user needs to produce learning solutions, allowing the organization to continue to advance education and provide opportunities for all learners worldwide.”

McWilliams earned a Ph.D. in educational research, measurement and evaluation and a Master of Arts in teaching, curriculum and instruction from Boston College, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from The College of the Holy Cross.