For the past two and a half years, Lou Pugliese has served with Saylor Academy as a Senior Fellow and Entrepreneur-in-Residence. During this time our organization has benefitted greatly from Lou’s practical guidance, sage advice and strategic vision.
Lou brought to our organization his prodigious entrepreneurial experiences and a deep knowledge of the educational technology world. During his career before coming to Saylor Academy, Lou served as the founding CEO at Blackboard, Inc., as Senior Vice-President for Global Strategy at Educational Testing Service (ETS), and President and CEO of Moodlerooms, Inc. He also went back to BlackBoard to serve as Senior Vice President of Open Source Solutions, where he engineered and closed Blackboard’s acquisition of MoodleRooms. His C-Level experience also served him well as President of Quantum Thinking, a Global Design Thinking consulting practice for institutional change management in higher education. We could not have asked for a stronger resume for a Strategic Fellow with more breadth and depth than Lou’s background. From his first days in residence, he brought his wealth of experience to bear to push the organization forward.
One of Lou’s first tasks was to shape our “DigEdCon” digital education conference that saw us convene thought leaders from government, academia, non-profits and the private sector, including Apple, Microsoft and Google. Ideas and relationships formed during the two day gathering are still rippling in the education sector.
Beyond his ability to “go deep” with the brightest of thought leaders, Lou brought a commitment to the social entrepreneurship, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors, including serving as President of the Community Coalition for Haiti Education during his tenure here at Saylor Academy. Lou’s commitment didn’t stop at sharing his knowledge. He also lent his impressive carpentry skills in helping construct new school facilities in Jacmel. Lou also helped Saylor Academy foster a working relationship with the Haitian Connection Network who continue to use Saylor Academy courses in multiple program offerings. That work continues and we have no doubt students in Jacmel and beyond will benefit from Lou’s generosity of spirit and ability to put ideas into action.
Furthering our interests of expanding education internationally, in May of this year, Lou traveled to Cuba with a delegation of higher education and social impact leaders. The goal of the trip was to begin diplomatic relationships with universities, the United Nations Development Program and additional NGOs. We were honored for Lou to be included and represent our organization in these important early talks and have no doubt he’ll continue to lead in developing lasting collaborative relationships as the diplomatic ties strengthen between the US and Cuba.
As he moves on to his new role in the Technology Innovation Action Lab at Arizona State University, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank him publicly for his service and contributions to our work. Lou’s tenure has set the bar high for our next Strategic Fellow. His commitment to expanding access to education globally and the lessons imparted to staff will remain with us as we move forward with our mission. With heartfelt thanks, we wish Lou great success at Arizona State and look forward to a continued relationship working on our shared vision of increasing access to education for all.