Margaret Meixner earned her B.S. degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics in 1987 from the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her doctorate in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.
Meixner is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2015 for her leadership in infrared instrumentation for astronomy, both from the ground and from space and for distinguished service in science team management for the Webb Telescope. She received the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Science Achievement Award in 2009 for her leadership of the WHIRC project and Magellanic Clouds Studies, and she is the recipient of the 1994 Annie Jump Cannon Special Commendation of Honor.