Neal McCluskey is the director of Cato's Center for Educational Freedom. He is the author of the book Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education and is co-editor of Educational Freedom: Remembering Andrew Coulson, Debating His Ideas and Unprofitable Schooling: Examining Causes of, and Fixes for, America's Broken Ivory Tower. He also maintains Cato's Public Schooling Battle Map, an interactive database of values and identity-based conflicts in public schools, and is on the editorial advisory board of The Line, a journal promoting civil discourse in K-12 policy debates. His writings have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Forbes. In addition to his written work, McCluskey has appeared on PBS, CNN, the Fox News Channel, and numerous radio programs.

McCluskey holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, where he double-majored in government and English, has a master's degree in political science from Rutgers University, Newark, and holds a PhD in public policy from George Mason University.