Alumni Profiles

Maura Pally ’94

“Crossroads, Jim’s classes in particular, is where I learned to think critically and to write persuasively in support of an argument.”
Maura Pally has always been a go-getter. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, holds a law degree from USC and is the executive director for the Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Clinton Foundation. When she transferred to Crossroads in 10th grade, her expectations were high. Feeling that her schedule wasn’t challenging enough, Maura shared her concerns with then-Upper School academic dean Bob Riddle. Bob advised Maura on which advanced courses would provide the type of rigorous academics that she craved. “That experience taught me that i can’t just sit by and expect things to happen for me,” she says. “The onus is on me to step up and take some action.”

She was soon taking Jim Hosney’s film and literature classes and other challenging coursework. “Crossroads, Jim’s classes in particular, is where I learned to think critically and to write persuasively in support of an argument,” she says. “When I got to college, I had a strong foundation to build on.”

While at Brown, Maura interned for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. She later worked on Clinton’s Senate re-election campaign and served as deputy counsel for her 2008 presidential campaign. When Clinton became secretary of state, she appointed Maura deputy assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs. Wanting to transition into charitable work, Maura left Washington for New York to work at Bloomberg Philanthropies before becoming an executive director at the Clinton Foundation. She is proud to oversee Clinton’s foundation work, including programs promoting the equal participation of women and girls across the globe and national efforts around early childhood learning and youth employment.

This same drive and interest in public service guided her at Crossroads, where she started a debate team and wrote for Crossfire. She still remembers the encouragement she received from former faculty member and student publications adviser Tina Turbeville: “You might not feel like it now, but what you’re into is actually cool, and you’re going to go out and do good things in the world.”