Saylor Foundation Changes Leadership, Commits to Accelerating Innovation

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WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Michael Saylor, trustee of the Saylor Foundation, today announced important leadership changes at the Foundation. Director Alana M. Harrington will now head the Advisory Board; Louis C. Pugliese, currently President of Quantum Thinking, formerly of Moodlerooms, Inc., ETS, and Blackboard, Inc., will join as Saylor Fellow and Entrepreneur-in-Residence; Jennifer Shoop will serve as Interim Director during the search for a new Executive Director. These changes will ensure both continuity and accelerated innovation in a significant growth year for the Foundation.

Over the past five years, Alana Harrington has led the Saylor Foundation from its inception into the top tier of free and open education providers. She now assumes a new position as Head of the Saylor Foundation Advisory Board. In this role, she will continue to have substantive involvement in the Foundation's strategic direction. Harrington will also be the primary lead in the search for a new Executive Director, expected to take 90-120 days.

Jennifer Shoop, as the Interim Director, will assume responsibility for ongoing initiatives and day-to-day operations of the Foundation. In her continuing role as head of content development, Shoop has overseen the development of the original slate of college-level courses, the subsequent expansion of the college program, and the advent of new K-12, graduate, and professional development programs. Her superlative work and experience will ensure continuity and sustained growth during the transition to a new executive director.

Lou Pugliese will join the Saylor Foundation as a Fellow and Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Working closely with senior leadership, Pugliese will focus on strategy as well as ongoing initiatives, helping to ensure that the Foundation remains at the leading edge of online education. Pugliese brings significant entrepreneurial skill in educational technology, having been a founding CEO at Blackboard, Inc., Senior Vice-President for Global Strategy at Educational Testing Service (ETS), and President and CEO of Moodlerooms, Inc., which supports deployment of the open source Moodle platform. With a commitment to bridging private enterprise to the non-profit and philanthropy sectors, Pugliese will work with the Foundation to foster independent and innovative ideas.

The next three months will see significant growth at the Saylor Foundation. The early goal -- to build 241 free courses across twelve popular areas of study -- has been surpassed. Even as the Foundation continues to iterate on prior success, ambitious avenues lie ahead. The interim leadership will set an energetic, sound pace, supporting the incoming Executive Director in seamlessly continuing to drive innovation in online education.

About The Saylor Foundation

The Saylor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Washington, D.C. under trustee Michael J. Saylor, Chairman and CEO of MicroStrategy, Inc. Our mission is to make education free. To this end, we employ professors and other experienced educators to build free and open online courses. Today, nearly 300 courses are available to anyone with an Internet connection.

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CONTACT: Sean Connor The Saylor Foundation 202.333.4005

Source:The Saylor Foundation