Meet Richard A. Ungerer, Interim Executive Director

Having served as executive director of the American Montessori Society 2005 – 2017 before returning as interim ED in 2020, Richard Ungerer is a well-known leader in the Montessori world.

During his initial tenure at AMS, Rich’s accomplishments were many. For example, he worked closely with the board and staff to dramatically increase the number of members and teacher education programs, convene the largest AMS annual conference in the history of the organization (in celebration of the centennial of Montessori education, 2007, New York City), and build AMS assets to use for new initiatives.

After “retiring” from AMS—but still with an irrepressible desire to help advance the Montessori Movement globally—Rich went on to accept a new role as a senior education advisor to the Wisdom International Education Group in Beijing, China, and chair of their Advisory Board, before rejoining AMS to help guide us through an exciting period of transition.

Richard A. Ungerer

Interim Executive Director

AMS has tremendous potential influence in leading the worldwide Montessori community into the future as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the the birth of Dr. Montessori, and it is my honor to be part of it.

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Earlier in his career, Rich served in leadership positions at several education organizations committed to enhancing education reform and global learning, such as the “I Have a Dream Foundation,” which provides individualized social, emotional, and academic support to young people from low-income families. Other organizations include the National Institute for Work and Learning, the Organization Development Network, and the National Society for Internships and Experiential Education. He also was a special assistant in the U.S. Office of Education.

Rich currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, which was founded by the American Montessori Society in 2012 to help public schools deliver high quality, personalized Montessori education; in 2015, it was incorporated independently. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Montessori Model United Nations and the Board of Directors of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

He has a master of social planning from the Boston College School of Social Work and a master of theology, with a concentration in social ethics, from Boston University School of Theology.