Educational Testing Service has selected its executive vice president and chief operating officer, Walt MacDonald, to take over as CEO of the Rosedale Road-based nonprofit testing service company on January 1.
MacDonald will replace Kurt M. Landgraf, who has served as president since 2000. Under Landgraf’s leadership, ETS has grown to an organization of 6,000 employees operating in 180 countries.
MacDonald has been with the company since 1984. The COO since 2009, MacDonald has been responsible for all ETS products and services, including the GRE, TOEFL, PRAXIS, SAT, and AP tests. MacDonald started at the company as a science assessment specialist and has advanced through the ranks since then. Earlier this year, MacDonald completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.
MacDonald’s father was a lineman for electric companies in New York and Massachusetts. His mother was a math teacher. The family came to New Jersey when he was a teenager. He attended Camden County Community College before transferring to get his bachelor’s degree in biology at Rutgers-Camden and his Ph.D. in biology and ecology at Rutgers-New Brunswick in 1983.
He has also completed postdoctoral work for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers.
“I’m honored by the Board’s decision and the confidence it has placed in me,” MacDonald says. “I have spent most of my professional life at ETS, and every day I am reminded of how fortunate I am for the opportunity to help improve teaching and learning for people literally all over the world. There are not many organizations where that is possible. I have also been lucky to have worked so closely with Kurt Landgraf. He has been a role model and a mentor, and his leadership of ETS has been unparalleled. He has set a high bar.”
“No one knows ETS better than Walt. He embodies a very rare combination of intellectual horsepower, creative temperament, business know-how, and absolute commitment to and passion for ETS’s social mission,” says Landgraf. “I could not be more delighted by this appointment, and I congratulate the Board of Trustees for its judgment, and Walt for his success. I anticipate a very smooth transition.”
Says Robert S. Murley, chair of the ETS board of trustees: “From strategic planning, execution, and oversight, to product design and innovation, to revenue growth, program management, and quality control, he has produced exceptional results, inspired colleagues, and brought great credit to ETS and to the assessment industry. We are confident that with the appointment of MacDonald as president and CEO, the future of ETS and the interests of its employees and stakeholders in the United States and around the world will be in extremely capable hands.”
Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton 08541; 609-921-9000; fax, 609-921-0235. www.ets.org.