John McLaughlin, Ph.D. has been an education entrepreneur his entire working life. At age 24 he started a school for students who benefited from a highly personalized education. Now in its forty-third year, Benton Hall Academy in Nashville has served thousands of students many at challenging periods in life. In the mid-80’s John become an associate professor of educational administration at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. While a professor he researched the role of the private sector in school reform and started the influential Education Industry Report, tracking private investment in the education arena. He left his tenured post in academia in 1997 to focus full-time on the business of education and behavioral health.
John has worked with dozens of groups interested in investing in education, special education, and behavioral health clinics using applied behavior analysis. He has also advised numerous operating companies in those fields looking to grow or sell their enterprises. John has also served on the corporate boards of Benton Hall (Nashville), National Heritage Academies (Grand Rapids), Behavioral Innovations (Dallas), ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy, and Education (Nashville) and the advisory boards of Bright Horizons Family Solutions (Boston), The Catholic Digest (St. Paul), and The Orpheum Theater (Sioux Falls).
His most recent book, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA (Rowman & Littlefield) won a dozen awards including Social Impact Book of 2017 by the Human Relations Indie Book Awards. John has also written dozens of articles and opinion pieces and addressed audiences from the World Bank to the National School Boards Association. John received degrees from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, The University of Chicago, and The University of Minnesota.