A personal note from co-founders Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng
We are about to celebrate our two year anniversary here at Coursera, and we have exciting news to share with you. In the past two years, Coursera has grown significantly – we have expanded our offerings to over 600 courses, partnered with 108 leading institutions, engaged 7 million learners, and worked to build products that provide students worldwide a great education. And we couldn’t have done any of it without a phenomenal team, which has now grown to around 100 people.
Throughout our growth, we have always kept paramount our mission to change the world through education. It is with this in mind that we are thrilled to announce that, starting in April of this year, Rick Levin will join our team as CEO. Rick was until recently the President of Yale University, and is a sought-after government advisor and business leader. We are eager to leverage Rick’s expertise and leadership to accelerate us toward Coursera’s mission.
Rick comes to us after a highly successful 20-year tenure in higher education. As Yale’s president, 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. Rick was instrumental in launching Yale’s visionary foray into online education, first in partnership with Stanford and Oxford, and later with Open Yale Courses. He also played a key role in furthering Yale’s partnership with Coursera, which was announced in May of 2013. In addition to his illustrious academic career, he also serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology, and is a trustee of the Hewlett Foundation and 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. 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.
We’re both very excited and will remain actively engaged in our work at Coursera. Andrew will assume the role of Chairman of the Board, and serve as Chief Evangelist for the company. He will also lead the company’s development of MOOC pedagogy, and work with Rick to expand Coursera’s presence in China. Daphne will become President, taking on a range of key strategic initiatives, and leading the growth and nurturing of Coursera’s partnerships with universities. Lila Ibrahim, who has served as President since August 2013, will assume the role of Chief Business Officer, responsible for business development, growth, marketing, and finance.
We at Coursera still have a lot of room to grow, and much to do in the pursuit of an educational experience that empowers people to improve their lives, their families and their communities. We are thrilled to work with Rick to accelerate our company, our vision, our partnerships and, most importantly, our impact.
Daphne and Andrew