Board of Directors
Board Chairman, Teaching Channel Board of Directors
Lisa Gersh served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (integrated media and merchandising company) until 2013. Prior thereto, she served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from 2011 to 2012. She served as President, Strategic Initiatives at NBC News, an operating subsidiary of NBC Universal (media company) from 2007 until January 2011. Ms. Gersh also served as General Managing Director of the Weather Channel companies for NBC Universal from 2007 until 2009. Prior thereto, she was a co-founder and the President and Chief Operating Officer of Oxygen Media (media company) from 1998 until 2007, when it was acquired by NBC News. Ms. Gersh served as a director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from 2011 to 2013 and served on the board of directors of The Knot, Inc. (now XO Group Inc.) from 2005 until 2010. Ms. Gersh has been a director of the Company since 2010. The Board has nominated Ms. Gersh for election as a director because of her extensive experience in the media and entertainment industries, including television, digital entertainment and publishing. These roles involved operating and executive positions with multiple leading media companies, including her most recent role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and her role in leading NBC Universal's acquisition of the Weather Channel companies as the executive in charge of the investment.
Co-Founder and Venture Partner, Polaris Venture Partners
Steve Arnold is co-founder and venture partner at Polaris Venture Partners, a $3 billion early stage venture capital firm, where he has focused on investments in information technology and digital media. Prior to starting Polaris, Steve served as a special advisor to venture capital firm Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., following more than 10 years in executive positions in software companies and the digital media industry. He served as vice president of Broadband Media Applications at Microsoft Corporation and as president and CEO of Continuum Productions (now Corbis), a private company founded by Bill Gates to pioneer the creation of large digital libraries for online distribution. Before joining Continuum, Steve served as vice president and general manager of LucasArts Games and Learning divisions, and as vice president of the New Media Group at Lucasfilm Ltd. He is co-founder and vice chairman of the board of directors of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), an operating foundation that promotes innovation and advocates for exemplary programs in public schools. GLEF publishes stories of innovative teaching and learning at www.edutopia.org. Steve holds a BS with honors from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and MA and PhD degrees from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco.
Louise Henry Bryson
Louise Bryson is the Chair Emerita of the Board, J. Paul Getty Trust. She became a member of the board in 1998 and served as board chair from 2006 until 2010. Ms. Bryson is the former President of Distribution, Lifetime Television, and Executive Vice President and General Manager, Lifetime Movie Network. She is currently a Trustee for six Capital Management Funds: AMCAP, AMF, ICA, FI, GFA, and SCWF. She also currently serves on the boards of Pomona College and Southern California Public Radio (KPCC), as well as on the advisory council for USC/Annenberg's School for Communication and Journalism. Ms. Bryson was chairman of KCET, the local PBS station in Los Angeles, and a former member of the PBS National Board, which honored her with the 1998 Award for Excellence in Public Television Leadership. She has also received awards for her work in cable television and, earlier in her career, for documentary film production. Ms. Bryson holds both an M.B.A. and M.A.T. from Stanford University and received her B.A. from the University of Washington.
George Lichter served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Product Officer of Apollo Lightspeed, a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, until mid-2014. Apollo Lightspeed was charged with developing disruptive programming and businesses, including courses and underlying technology platforms featuring high-profile professors, such as the award winning Innovator’s Accelerator with Clayton Christensen, as well as a leading technology course and skills marketplace, Balloon. Previously, Mr. Lichter served at Apollo Education Group as Senior Vice President, Head of Integrated Academic Strategies and Development for the University of Phoenix, a role that included the management of its School of Continuing Education.
Prior to that, Mr. Lichter served as special advisor to high growth and social impact companies, and from 2005 to 2008 as President and CEO of InfoSearch Media, an Internet content company. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Lichter co-founded and then served as co-CEO of Yoga Works, the country’s leading yoga and alternative fitness company. From 1998 through 2002, Mr. Lichter served at Ask.com as President of its international operations and concurrently as CEO of UK and Ireland. Prior to that, Mr. Lichter served as Senior Vice President of New Business Development and International Distribution at Vivendi Games (formerly Cendant Software), which included in its portfolio such game publishers as Blizzard Entertainment, developer of World of Warcraft, as well as leading K-12 educational software publishers such as Knowledge Adventure, developer of the JumpStart series. Prior thereto, Mr. Lichter served as VP of Business Development at Knowledge Adventure. A lifelong lover of learning, Mr. Lichter graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UCLA, and earned his JD from the Stanford Law School.
Vice President of Programs, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Sylvia Yee is vice president of programs at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco. Driven by a long-standing commitment to social justice and to serving children, families, and communities, Sylvia led the development of the Fund’s civil rights work and helped spark major initiatives such as the San Francisco Beacon Initiative, a public-private collaboration to turn schools into community centers for youth development. She also cofounded Coaching Corps, an organization that aims to level the playing field in sports opportunities for girls and low-income youth.
Sylvia has served as board chair, and often cofounder, of numerous national, state, and local organizations, including Family Support America, Asian Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, the Foundation Consortium and the Bernal Heights Community Foundation. She currently is a trustee of BoardSource, Coaching Corps and the national advisory group of Sanford’s Haas Public Service Center.
Sylvia taught and administered programs at the elementary, secondary, and university levels, both in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China. She also directed Mission Graduates, a nonprofit providing educational services to immigrant and low-income youth. Before joining the Fund, Sylvia was a program executive in education and health at the San Francisco Foundation.
Sylvia earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy from Stanford University and her M.A.T. at Reed College. Her publications include “Careers in the Classroom,” published by Teachers College Press, and “Got Me a Story to Tell: Five Children Tell About Their Lives.”