Mary Lou Maloney Named Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of May Institute


Randolph, Mass. —Mary Lou Maloney, a pioneer in the deinstitutionalization of individuals with special needs in Massachusetts, and a lifelong advocate for that community, has been named Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of May Institute. Ms. Maloney succeeds Stephen S. Young, L.L.B., who retired as Chairperson in December after serving his three-year term.

May Institute, a nonprofit organization with a national reputation for excellence in the field of applied behavior analysis, serves individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. May Institute has annual revenues of more than $123M, and serves thousands of individuals and families at 144 programs and sites around the country. May Institute benefits from the fiduciary oversight of a 14-member Board of Trustees.

“Mary Lou has been an effective and dedicated member of our Board for 17 years, and we are delighted to welcome her as our first female Chairperson,” said President and CEO Lauren C. Solotar, Ph.D., ABBP. “She was at the forefront of the historic movement to move individuals with special needs from institutions into community programs, schools, and group homes beginning in the 1970s. Through the years, her advocacy and hands-on efforts have made a tremendous difference in the lives of countless men, women, and children in our state.”

“As a sister of an individual with special needs, I am familiar with the complexities of raising a child with disabilities,” said Ms. Maloney. “Families want to provide opportunities for loved ones to expand their perception of the world, grasp ideas, learn new skills, and problem solve with peers. I am proud to be part of an organization that is doing this well. In my new role, I look forward to helping guide the May as it continuously works to improve its services for and impact on the individuals it serves.”

Ms. Maloney has served as the Executive Director and Legislative Director of The Arc of Massachusetts, a parent-based advocacy organization representing people with intellectual disabilities. It was here that she, alongside her colleagues, began making significant inroads to transition people with special needs from large institutions to community-based living.

During her tenure in the Executive Office of Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services, Ms. Maloney played a pivotal role in the establishment of the first-in-the-nation “transition law” (Chapter 688) that addressed the needs of students turning 22 and ending their public school education.

She was a founding member of Disability Policy Consortium, a cross-disability advocacy organization that addresses public policy issues and ensures that programs and services enable people with disabilities to participate in the political, economic, and social mainstream. With grants provided by the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, she provided over 400 legislative advocacy trainings to a broad range of human service organizations including the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), parent, consumer, and multi-cultural organizations and state agencies.

Early in her career, Ms. Maloney managed Fortune House, one of the first group homes for individuals with intellectual disabilities in Massachusetts. Later, as the Vice President of Public Affairs for Regina Villa Associates, she represented a broad group of human service organizations in Massachusetts.

Through the years, Ms. Maloney has received a number of awards and honors including:

  • Being honored by the Arc of Massachusetts at the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration as one of 10 people who have made a difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities

  • The Gunnar Dybwad Award from the Department of Developmental Services

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change

  • The Marie Felton Award for Outstanding Contribution to People Served in Metro Boston from the Boston Center for Independent Living

  • Being named an “outstanding advocate” by the Disability Policy Consortium for people served by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

In addition to her tenure on May Institute’s Board of Trustees, Ms. Maloney is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Riverside Theatre Works in Hyde Park, Mass., and serves on the advisory committee for the Institute for Community Inclusion.

Ms. Maloney received her bachelor’s degree from Regis College, and her master’s degree from Boston College, both in sociology.

About May Institute
May Institute is a nonprofit organization that is a national leader in the field of applied behavior analysis, serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. Founded more than 60 years ago, we provide a wide range of exceptional educational and rehabilitative services across the lifespan. For more information, call 800.778.7601 or visit