An interview with Maureen McCarthy, Director, Best Practices & Advancement, Council of Graduate Schools

    This spring CGS welcomed a new Associate Director of Corporate Relations, Adrienne Mosley Vincent. With this new ace in our corner, CGS has already initiated new Advancement programs aimed at enhancing and broadening CGS’s corporate relationships. GradEdge recently sat down with the Maureen McCarthy to learn more.

    What does “Advancement” mean at CGS?

    Advancement adds value to CGS membership through relationships with companies and nonprofit organizations. We work with the Advancement Advisory Committee to create programs to structure these relationships, which can take many forms. Organizations can join the Sustaining Membership Network, for example, which provides certain benefits and opportunities for engagement with CGS members throughout the year. Others may choose to engage around the CGS Annual Meeting, so Advancement helps connect companies with sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities. We know that companies have access to information and solutions that are beneficial to our members, and we want to help make those connections. In addition, we continue to cultivate relationships with non-profit and corporate foundations who are appropriate funders for CGS research and best practices work.

    Even though we do not endorse specific companies or products, we do work hard to ensure that we are partnering with companies and organizations with missions that align with CGS’s, and whose expertise will be of value to our members.

    What is new with CGS Advancement?

    So much! We’re excited to debut new sponsored sessions at the Annual Meeting this year. There will be two sponsored concurrent sessions (on Machine Learning in Graduate Education and The Graduate Student Life Cycle) and 2-3 “Lightning rounds,” which will be 30-minute sessions designed to introduce a specific product or service. We hosted our first sponsored webinars (where corporate partners provide the content) in 2018 and will continue to grow this program.

    Bringing Adrienne on board has also enabled us to expand Advancement’s focus to include employers of graduate degree holders. We’re in the early stages of launching a CGS Employer Roundtable, which will bring together high-level executives from diverse sectors to advise the CGS president on workforce development.

    How can I get involved?

    CGS is currently accepting nominations for the Advancement Advisory Committee and self-nominations are welcome. This is the best way to help shape CGS’s Advancement work. We also encourage you to attend upcoming sponsored webinars, the sponsored sessions at the CGS Annual Meeting, and to visit the Exhibit Hall at the Annual Meeting as well; we’re always grateful for member feedback about these events. If you have any additional questions about our work, or if you’d like to nominate someone for the Employer Roundtable or Advancement Advisory Committee, please contact Maureen McCarthy or Adrienne Vincent.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.