Salman Khan

Founder, Executive Director, Faculty The Khan Academy

Founder, Executive Director, Faculty, The Khan Academy

Salman Khan is the founder and executive director of the Khan Academy based in Mountain View, CA.

In 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin Nadia in mathematics using a Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutorial, he decided it would be more practical to distribute the tutorials on YouTube. He didn't want a format that would involve a person standing by a whiteboard — instead, he wanted to present the content as though he were sitting next to someone and working out a problem on a sheet of paper.

The growing popularity of his videos online prompted Khan to quit his job in finance in 2009 and focus on the Academy full time. The Khan Academy's current content is concerned with everything from simple math and history to college-level science, economics and calculus. Khan's long-term goal is to provide tens of thousands of videos on many subjects and to create the world's first free, world-class virtual school where anyone can learn anything. Offline versions of the videos have been distributed by not-for-profit groups to rural areas in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Khan believes his academy shows there is an opportunity to overhaul the traditional classroom by using software to create tests, grade assignments, highlight the challenges of certain students, and encourage those doing well to help struggling classmates.

As of June 2011, the Khan Academy has delivered over 58 million lessons. In September 2010, Google announced it would give the Khan Academy, a non-profit, $2 million to create more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate its core library into the world's most widely spoken languages.

Khan has made numerous media appearances on shows ranging from The Colbert Report to NBC Nightly News and PBS. He also delivered a talk at TED in 2011. Born and raised in New Orleans, La., he holds three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: a BS in mathematics, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and an MS in electrical engineering and computer science. He also holds an MBA fromHarvard Business School.


  • Sal Khan Monday, 6 Oct 2014 | 6:27 AM ET

    Executive director, Khan Academy

  • Quantitative Easing: CNBC Explains     Sunday, 29 May 2011 | 12:07 AM ET

    The U.S. central bank engages in quantitative easing to influence the economic activity and increase cash in order to stimulate the economy as a whole. But how does QE differ from normal federal reserve open market operations? Salman Khan of the Khan Academy explains.

  • LIBOR is the London InterBank Offered Rate, a key interest rate used by banks for short-term lending with other banks. For those who are fuzzy on the topic, Salman Khan of the Khan Academy explains what LIBOR is and how it is used.


Contact CNBC Explains


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More*

Latest Special Reports

  • Advisor-centric content with guest columns covering practice management, investment strategies and marketing/social media.

  • File photo: Participants at a hacking conference in Germany

    A series of high profile cyber attacks has created huge economic opportunity as businesses look to fend off future attacks.

  • Whether you're young and just getting started investing or moving closer to retirement, factoring in age will keep you ahead of the game.

Central Banking Explained

Corporate Accounting Explained