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Mary S. Thormann, EdD

Mary S. Thormann, EdD, based in Washington, D.C., has over 30 years of experience as an educator, disability specialist, teacher trainer, university professor/administrator, and consultant.  She has designed, developed, and directed new programs from early childhood to higher education.  She has a particular focus on children and youth with special education needs.

 Dr. Thormann has extensive international experience, especially in developing countries, and has provided technical assistance in various settings as a specialist in disabilities, basic education, curriculum, program evaluation, professional development and teacher training.  In addition, she served as the school psychologist for over 1,000 middle and high school students from 50 countries at the International School Bangkok, with responsibility for psychological and educational assessments and overall leadership of the school’s programs for students with special learning needs.

 She has worked as an education consultant in many countries, especially in disability and teacher training, including Ghana, Bangladesh, India (where she lived for nine years), Thailand (where she lived for four years), Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, as well as in Central Asia (Kazakstan) and China on UNESCO-funded school reform projects. In Ghana and Bangladesh, she assessed educational opportunity for children with disabilities and special education needs for USAID.  The study in Ghana for USAID (2003) served as the basis for USAID/Ghana’s subsequent assistance to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ghana Educational Service to develop and implement special education needs policies and programs for inclusive education in the public schools.  Her work on behalf of children and youth in Saudi Arabia resulted in the development of an assessment and skills development center in Jeddah for children with learning disabilities and other special needs; in addition she provided on-site training for the Center’s Saudi staff.   Dr. Thormann has conducted a number of feasibility studies for school expansion and school improvement (pre-K-12) in Nepal, Nigeria, Syria, and India.

 Clients include USAID, the ADB, UNESCO, UNDP, JICA, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Education, especially the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), international schools, and the private sector.

Prior to moving to India, Dr. Thormann was a tenured, full professor at Marymount University and director of the graduate programs in education and human services.  She established new teacher training programs for preschool children with disabilities and for children and youth with emotional disturbance.  She served as the founding director of Marymount’s on-campus day care center for children ages 2-7.  Early in her career, she established the first hospital-based public school for seriously emotionally disturbed adolescents at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, building on her experience as a general education high school English teacher.

Dr. Thormann holds a doctorate in special education (early childhood) from The George Washington University and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota.