The McDermott Forum, was named after Edwin J. McDermott, S.J., the 2nd Director (1978-1989) of the Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership. His name was given to this particular component of the ICEL web site because of his well-known scholarly interest in Catholic educational research, especially as it has been conducted by doctoral students in focused studies.
Father McDermott was the author of one of the most popular NCEA keynote books, Distinctive Qualities of the Catholic School (1997), which has been one of the most frequently cited references in the doctoral dissertations written by ICEL students. Father McDermott was thoroughly acquainted with the references used in doctoral research and was very helpful to CEL students by referring them to the most appropriate literature.
Father McDermott wrote other articles on Catholic school concerns. He served the Society of Jesus as a teacher and principal in several of the Jesuit secondary schools. He founded the Jesuit Secondary School Association (JSEA) and became its first president. It was from his position at JSEA that he joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco. During that tenure, he joined several others involved in the preparation of Catholic school personnel in founding the Association of Catholic Leadership Programs.