Minneapolis—November 5, 2008—Jonathan A. Kaplan, president of Walden University, will be the keynote speaker at the Maryland Executive Council for Educational Opportunities’ (MECEO) 30th annual conference, held Nov. 9–12 at the Princess Royale Hotel and Conference Center in Ocean City, MD.  Walden shares MECEO’s mission of furthering educational opportunities for low-income and first-generation-college individuals, as well as for individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1970, Walden University is a leader in student-centered online higher education.

In his keynote address at noon on Monday, Nov. 10, Mr. Kaplan will describe the state of online learning and share his experiences working with education programs and policy as chief of staff of the National Economic Council in the Clinton White House and special assistant to the president for economic policy. He will discuss the importance of Walden’s mission to provide a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they may transform society.

Mr. Kaplan graduated cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A. in government. He received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Boston University Law Review. He later practiced law as an associate at Covington & Burling, a leading international law firm based in Washington, D.C. After serving in the White House, he held posts at the U.S. Department of Treasury and on Capitol Hill. Mr. Kaplan currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including Kendall College and Advocates for Children and Youth.

Walden offers programs that support the needs of educators at all levels, from preschool through higher education. It serves educators at various stages of their profession, including new and veteran classroom teachers, experienced faculty members and administrators, and career-changers interested in teaching in two areas with a teacher shortage: early childhood education and special education.

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden is named in honor of Richard W. Riley, the former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and a leading advocate in advancing education as a national priority. Walden was ranked in January 2008 for a second time by U.S. News & World Report as having the largest online graduate program in education by enrollment.

About Walden University

Since 1970, Walden University has offered working professionals the opportunity to earn advanced degrees through distance learning. Today, this comprehensive, accredited online university offers master’s and doctoral degrees in education, psychology, management, public policy and administration, and health and human services, as well as master’s programs in engineering and IT and bachelor’s programs in business administration, psychology, child development, and computer information systems.

Walden University is a member of Laureate International Universities, a leading global network of accredited campus-based and online universities. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.

About MECEO

MECEO is a nonprofit association composed primarily of educators in the state of Maryland who work in federally funded programs known as TRIO programs (see the Council for Opportunity in Education’s Web site at www.coenet.us for more information). The mission of MECEO is to promote equal educational opportunities and greater accessibility to higher education for members of underrepresented groups who are also typically first-generation, low-income individuals. As a professional association founded in 1968, MECEO receives neither federal nor state funds, and it has a long and respected history of supporting the missions of the TRIO programs throughout the state of Maryland.