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New Leadership at EdX and Coursera

Two of the major MOOC providers in the U.S. announced new executives yesterday. EdX announced the appointment of Wendy Cebula as the company's president and chief operating officer; Coursera named Rick Levin as its new CEO.

Poised for Growth at EdX
A former Vistaprint executive, Cebula will assume the management and oversight of edX's day-to-day operations, while current president Anant Argawal will become CEO, focusing on the company's strategic direction, growth, and partnerships, according to a company statement. As chief operating officer at Vistaprint, Cebula helped grow the company from $1 million to more than $1 billion in revenue globally.

"Wendy will be a great asset to edX because she has a proven track record for enabling global growth and driving operational excellence, and she is experienced in running large online businesses," said Agarwal. "We are confident that Wendy will bring strong digital and business expertise to bear as we take edX to the next level and continue to drive access and awareness of our high-quality, diverse courses."

Cebula received her bachelor's degree in finance from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is a member of the board of directors for ResearchNow and also serves on the board of directors of the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit founded to help women-led businesses become and stay successful.

Deepening Pedagogy at Coursera
Levin joins Coursera after a 20-year tenure as president of Yale University. In his capacity at Yale he "led numerous initiatives to strengthen the university's brand, pedagogy, areas of study (including science, engineering and medicine), international relationships, and open knowledge sharing … [and] was instrumental in launching Yale's visionary foray into online education, first in partnership with Stanford and Oxford, and later with Open Yale Courses," according to a post on the Coursera blog. Levin also serves on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, is a trustee of the Hewlett Foundation and is a director of American Express.

"We recently turned to Rick as an advisor, in part due to his vision, background and passion around online education. He has contributed a strong strategic voice in how we can use technology to educate people at scale and how we can structure our business going forward," said Coursera founders Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng in the blog post. "Now, as CEO, Rick will be even better positioned to help us build and deepen our university partnerships, develop our pedagogy and rethink how people will learn and teach in this new world. We are delighted to bring on such an accomplished educator, economist, government advisor and business leader, who will join us in shaping the future of education."

Ng will now serve as Coursera's chairman of the board as well as chief evangelist, leading pedagogical development and working with Levin to expand the company's presence in China. Koller moves to the role of president, focusing on strategic initiatives and Coursera's university partnerships. Lila Ibrahim, who has served as president since August of last year, will become chief business officer, responsible for business development, growth, marketing and finance, according to the company.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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