About Mary

The Current (Sept. 26, 2012) endorses Mary Lord as “the clear choice” for the At-Large seat on the DC State Board Of Education. “Ms. Lord has performed well in her current board post, and we believe she will continue to serve admirably as an advocate for strong educational offerings at all D.C. schools.”


  • A mom active in schools and community
  • An elected DC State Board member since 2007
  • An award-winning education writer
  • An effective advocate for parent involvement, neighborhood schools with well-equipped labs and libraries, strong science and arts education, hands-on and service learning, enrichment programs for our brightest as well as our special needs students, vocational training, internships, community partnerships, and common-sense rules
  • A national leader who brings DC’s voice to the federal education debate
  • A respectful listener who enjoys working hard for you — and with you!


Longtime Dupont Circle/West End resident Mary Lord is an award-winning education reporter who has served on the DC State Board of Education since its inception in the fall of 2007 and as an officer in the National Association of State Boards of Education.

Her articles have appeared in a variety of local and national publications, including U.S. News & World Report, where she covered K-12 and higher education, Essence magazine, and the Boston Globe. She currently focuses on science and engineering education as a writer and editor for the American Society for Engineering Education’s Prism magazine, and producer of ASEE’s blog and monthly e-newsletter with standards-based, hands-on engineering activities for more than 22,000 K-12 STEM teachers.

An honors graduate of Harvard, Mary earned her bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies with a focus on Japanese history, literature, and language. Her journalism career includes stints as a Pentagon correspondent for Newsweek, North Asia bureau chief for U.S. News & World Report based in Tokyo, and U.S. News’ business editor.  IMG_4803

On the DC State Board of Education, Mary has worked with colleagues on a host of game-changing initiatives. These include approving the District of Columbia’s first-ever standards for health and physical education – recruiting schools in our city’s fight against childhood obesity and HIV/AIDS – and joining 46 other states in adopting a “common core” set of rigorous new literacy and math standards that will put our students on par with their high-achieving peers nationwide and around the world. She co-led the effort to consider and adopt new Next Generation Science Standards in December, 2013, making hands-on engineering design and “doing” science part of every child’s science education – and opening opportunities to the 30% of District-area jobs that are STEM-related.

Mary has been an active member of several DC State Board of Education committees, reviewing and developing recommendations on such policies as parent and family involvement, truancy and student engagement, accountability and waiver renewal, and currently, competency-based education and credit flexibility. This work takes place with meaningful input and involvement of multiple stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students, and community members.

In addition to her work on the DC State Board of Education, Mary has been an active member of the National Association of the State Boards of Educationserving as President in 2015 and Immediate Past President in 2016 – giving the District of Columbia a voice in the national education debate. She also was a board member of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, a community volunteer, and a huge fan of high school theater and athletics, FIRST Robotics, science fairs, and especially youth soccer.

Mary is married with two children. Her eldest is a certified middle school teacher and wilderness therapy instructor. Her son, a 2012 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, is a college senior majoring in math and astronomy.