Adit EdTech Acquisition Corp.
- Education, Technology
Eric L. Munson has served as our non-executive chairman of the board of directors since October 2020. In 2014, Mr. Munson co-founded Adit. Mr. Munson has over 35 years of principal investment experience that spanned alternative asset management, corporate finance, mutual funds, private equity and venture capital, having built, developed and managed 24 different funds, invested in 48 privately-held companies, and executed hundreds of private transactions. Previously, Mr. Munson worked at Hambrecht & Quist, Morgan Stanley, Franklin/Templeton, Seneca, Wentworth Hauser & Violich, Acorn Partners, among other financial institutions. Mr. Munson is well qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive experience in finance and capital investments across various industries and his contacts and relationships.
David Shrier has served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since October 2020. Mr. Shrier is a globally recognized education innovator and technology futurist who is actively sought after to advise on strategic growth. Mr. Shrier is currently the co-founder and Managing Director of Esme Learning Solutions, an artificial intelligence-enabled adult digital education provider that partners with top universities to transform student outcomes, a role he has held since forming the company with Ms. Elizabeth Porter, our Chief Technology Officer and Secretary, in February 2019. Mr. Shrier also serves as a board member of Esme Learning. Adit is a significant investor in Esme Learning. Mr. Shrier is also co-founder of Riff Analytics, an artificial intelligence collaboration software company (where Adit is also an investor), and served as its chairman of the board of directors from its inception in June 2017 until July 2020. He has been a non-executive director of Copper Technologies (UK) Ltd since November 2020. Mr. Shrier holds a part-time appointment as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Management & Innovation at Imperial College London Business School which he began in December 2020. Since August 2017, Mr. Shrier has had a part-time appointment as Associate Fellow with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Between February 2013 and November 2020, Mr. Shrier held a variety of instructional and administrative roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including New Ventures Officer, Managing Director, Connection Science & Engineering and most recently, Lecturer, Media Arts & Sciences. His classes at MIT and Oxford, developed in collaboration with Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, have engaged over 15,000 innovators in more than 150 countries on topics such as fintech, blockchain, and data analytics through groundbreaking online classes. Previously, Mr. Shrier has held a variety of management roles in privately funded companies including, most recently, Distilled Identity, where he served as Chief Executive Officer from June 2017 to May 2020. Mr. Shrier’s consulting firm, Visionary Future LLC, has been operating together with its predecessor Far Horizons Management since 1999 to advise corporate, government, and nongovernmental clients on strategic growth opportunities and technology innovation. Throughout his career, Mr. Shrier has worked in and with growth companies, Fortune 1,000 firms, and academia, including board and advisory positions and professional roles within large public companies (General Electric, Dun & Bradstreet), private companies (Millennium Advisors, Kyriba), partnerships (Ernst & Young, Lazard) and governments and government-related entities (Dubai, Commonwealth Secretariat), in addition to developing new revenue-generating growth opportunities for leading academic institutions (MIT, University of Oxford). Mr. Shrier holds a number of unpaid advisory roles with various government and government affiliated entities, and one private nonprofit university. Since September 2017, Mr. Shrier has served as a member of FINRA’s fintech advisory Committee. Mr. Shrier is a senior advisor to the UK government’s Revenue & Customs department (HMRC) since December 2019 as well as UK Department for International Trade’s fintech steering board since March 2018. Since October 2020, Mr. Shrier has also been an advisor to the European Parliament’s Science & Technology Committee, which is chaired by Eva Kaili. Mr. Shrier is also on the advisory board for WorldQuant University, which offers a totally free online master’s degree in financial engineering, where he has served since April 2016. Mr. Shrier is well qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive experience managing education and technology companies and his contacts and relationships.
John D’Agostino has served as our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since October 2020. Mr. D’Agostino has 15 years of experience in financial services, having served on more than 10 boards of directors of asset management firms as well as on audit committees. Mr. D’Agostino has served as a Managing Director at DMS Governance since May 2015, where he provides guidance and independent oversight to ensure adherence to governance, regulatory and compliance requirements. Mr. D’Agostino has served as a director in a wide range of industries, with notable expertise in technology-driven companies and complex investment vehicles. Since May 2017, Mr. D’Agostino has served as a director of Midpoint Holdings Ltd., a UK-headquartered payments institution specializing in cross-border payments and foreign exchange. Mr. D’Agostino has significant experience in corporate governance and regulation and regularly advises U.S. and international government regulatory agencies. Mr. D’Agostino began his career as Vice President and Head of Strategy of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where he led the effort to develop the first Middle East energy derivatives exchange in partnership with the Dubai Government. Mr. D’Agostino graduated from the Harvard Business School, where he received his Master’s degree in Business Administration. Mr. D’Agostino also holds Series 7 (General Securities Representative), 24 (General Securities Principal) and 33 (Financial Instruments) licenses issued by FINRA.
Elizabeth Porter has served as our Chief Technology Officer and Secretary since October 2020. Throughout her career, Ms. Porter has led multiple product and engineering teams to deliver high value, customer-focused educational technology products in product design, business strategy and operational roles. Ms. Porter has worked with clients in technology, education, and publishing to develop product strategy and vision, provide technical direction and architecture, and conceive end-to-end solutions that meet business needs. Ms. Porter served as Vice President of Product of EdX, a non-profit massive open online course (MOOC) provider founded by MIT and Harvard University, from May 2014 to December 2015. Ms. Porter held executive roles at Pearson Education, a company that provides education publishing and assessment services to schools, corporations and students with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries (including former Vice President with special focus on higher education online offering) from January 2010 to April 2014, as well as directing product development teams at Mathsoft Inc. (subsequently acquired by PTC) from April 2006 until August 2008, Extension Engine (from May 2016 to December 2018), an edtech consultancy that specializes in the development of highly customized online courses and programs, and University of Texas at Austin (from May 2018 to December 2019). Ms. Porter has been the managing partner of Geeklight, LLC, an edtech consulting business, since May 2016. She has also served as Chief Executive Officer, co-founder and board member of Riff Analytics, a conversation analytics company that works primarily with educational institutions and providers delivering platform software and custom data analytics reporting, since September 2017. Ms. Porter has also headed the course development and delivery teams at Esme Learning in her capacity as Managing Director, board member and co-founder since February 2019. Esme Learning is an online learning solutions development company that works with universities and corporations to create and deliver high-end, high-touch online courses for working professionals. Ms. Porter’s engagements in higher education include roles as researcher and lecturer at the MIT Media Lab since September 2016 and Boston University Questrom School of Business since July 2016. She also serves as board member, treasurer and trustee of Oakwood School, a non-profit private school, since June 2015. Ms. Porter graduated from Cornell University, where she received her B.A. in English Literature and M.A. in Mathematics Teacher Education.
Jacob Cohen has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2020. Since June 2012, Mr. Cohen has served as Senior Associate Dean at MIT Sloan for Degree Programs and Senior Lecturer in Accounting & Law. Mr. Cohen oversees the undergraduate and the portfolio of master’s programs in addition to all student services from admissions to career development. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Cohen was the Dean of the MBA Program at INSEAD, directing strategy and operations for campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. Under his leadership, INSEAD expanded its degree programs and received its highest rankings ever among business school MBA programs. Mr. Cohen also served as a member of the Deans’ Leadership Team, overseeing the academic experience across all programs. In 2012, Mr. Cohen spent his post-deanship sabbatical teaching financial management as a Judge Fellow at Cambridge University and as a Research Fellow studying corporate social responsibility reporting at Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. Before joining INSEAD in 2003, Mr. Cohen was a Senior Teaching Fellow at Harvard Business School in the Accounting & Management Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Cohen has developed and taught in many online programs utilizing various digital platforms. Prior to his academic career, Mr. Cohen worked as an accountant at KPMG LLP in Philadelphia, and as a mergers & acquisitions consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York City. As an academic, Mr. Cohen has consulted for a number of organizations, including BCG, Bain, Blackstone, ArcelorMittal, Schlumberger, Bel, Accenture, and BMO Capital. Mr. Cohen earned a J.D. and a Master of Science in Accounting from Syracuse University in 1998, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Lehigh University in 1995. Mr. Cohen is well qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive industry experience and his contacts and relationships.
Sharmila Kassam has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2020. Ms. Kassam is a proven business professional and institutional investor. In September 2019, Ms. Kassam founded Aligned Capital Investing, a consulting firm focused on global institutional investors and investment managers. Ms. Kassam has also served as Advisory Board Member at Sweetwater Private Equity since August 2020, as Hedge Fund Board Member at Fundamental Credit Opportunities since November 2019, as a policy advisor and instructor for Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) since July 2015 and as Senior Fellow at Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets since September 2019. Ms. Kassam was formerly the deputy Chief Investment Officer at the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) where she worked for over a decade from January 2008 until May 2019. As a member of ERS’s investments division, she co-managed with the Chief Investment Officer investments in all asset classes, an internal investment team and external managers and pursued new investment structures. Ms. Kassam was a voting member of multiple investment committees for the $29 billion ERS Retirement Trust Fund and actively worked with the $2.9 billion Texa$aver 401(k) / 457 Program, a voluntary defined contribution plan. Prior to her role as deputy Chief Investment Officer at the ERS, she served as an assistant general counsel at ERS for five years during the initial stages of its private equity program, leading legal negotiations with multiple fund sponsors and later working closely with the private real estate and hedge fund teams as they developed their programs. Ms. Kassam also spent time promoting best practices in the industry through Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), Alignment of Interest (AOI), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA), and the CFA Institute. Ms. Kassam was also previously an associate at the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, where she focused on securities, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. Ms. Kassam also worked at multiple start-ups and technology companies in financial and management roles prior to entering the legal profession. Ms. Kassam began her career as an audit associate at Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Ms. Kassam is a licensed certified public accountant and also licensed to practice law in California and Texas. Ms. Kassam graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, with honors, and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Kassam is well qualified to serve as a director due to her extensive experience in finance and capital investments across various industries and her contacts and relationships.
Sheldon Levy has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2020. Mr. Levy is a higher education leader and visionary with a passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and the digital economy. Mr. Levy has been an instrumental figure in Canada’s innovation ecosystem in the last decade, spearheading the creation of such organizations as Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, and Scale Up Ventures, Inc. As President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University from 2005 to 2015, Mr. Levy drove the creation of the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), an early-stage incubator for student entrepreneurs which has since become an international success. Mr. Levy is also a founder and advisor to Ryerson Futures Inc., an accelerator that has exported the DMZ concept to such locations as Calgary and Mumbai. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Levy served as Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, where he helped prioritize innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Ontario’s postsecondary education and training system. From 2017 to December 2019, Mr. Levy was the Chief Executive Officer of NEXT Canada, an organization that provides mentorship, education, networks and funding to Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs. From December 2018 to June 2020, Mr. Levy acted as Special Advisor to Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, Mary Ng, on the issue of scaling up small and medium-sized businesses. In September 2019, Mr. Levy joined the Board of Directors of Baycrest Health Sciences. Mr. Levy previously served as President of Oakville’s Sheridan College from 1997 to 2001, overseeing the growth of its renowned animation department during the early years of computer-generated imaging. Mr. Levey’s other prior positions have included Vice President, Finance and Strategy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Vice President of Governmental and Institutional Relations, University of Toronto; and Vice President Institutional Affairs, York University. Mr. Levy graduated from York University, where he received his MSc. He was also awarded honorary doctorates from York University, Lakehead University and Mount Allison University. Mr. Levy is well qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive industry experience and his contacts and relationships.
William J. Bennett is a U.S. public figure on cultural, political, and education issues. Over the course of his professional life, Mr. Bennett has succeeded in education, government and the private sector. Mr. Bennett is an experienced technology entrepreneur, having been the founding Chairman of K12.com, a multi-billion dollar online education company, where he held the position of Founding Chairman from 1998 to 2006. Mr. Bennett previously served on the Advisory Board of Viridis Learning, Inc., a human capital technology solution company that provides training to individuals in the middle-skill workforce, and he was a senior advisor to Udacity, one of the world’s leading online education organizations, in Udacity’s early years. Mr. Bennett is an award-winning professor in academia, having taught at Boston University, the University of Texas and Harvard University. Mr. Bennett was the U.S. Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. Mr. Bennett was formerly the host of Morning in America, one of the most popular national talk shows in the country, and is now host of The Bill Bennett Show podcast. Mr. Bennett has written or co-authored more than 25 books including The Educated Child: A Parent’s Guide from Preschool Through Eighth Grade and two New York Times number one best-sellers. Mr. Bennett graduated from Williams College, where he received a B.A. degree in Philosophy, the University of Texas, where he received a Ph.D. and from Harvard University, where he received a J.D. Mr. Bennett is the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees.
Eva Kaili has been a Member of the European Parliament since July 2014. Ms. Kaili founded the World Future Foundation in Brussels in December 2018. Ms. Kaili has been Chair of the Center for Artificial Intelligence of the European Parliament since January 2020 and the Future of Science and Technology Panel of the European Parliament since January 2017. Ms. Kaili was named one of the “Women who Shape Brussels” and the “Tech MEPs gang” as the “leading MEPs addressing the digital revolution” by Politico Europe in 2018. Ms. Kaili received the European Award as a Member of the European Parliament in 2018 for her work on the Digital Agenda for Europe. Before her political career, Ms. Kaili worked as a newscaster at Mega Channel from 2004 until 2007. From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Kaili provided communications strategy and public and foreign affairs consulting to several Greek pharmaceutical companies and a prominent media group. As one of the Digital Leaders for Europe designated by the World Economic Forum and the Blockchain Council, Ms. Kaili was one of the speakers in China at the Informal Group of World Economic Leaders organized by the World Economic Forum in 2018. Ms. Kaili is a member of the Global Council on Extended Intelligence, IEEE Standards Association and MIT Media Lab. Ms. Kaili graduated from Aristotle University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and from University of Piraeus, where she received an M.A. degree in International European Affairs.
Vuk Jeremić is President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD) and Editor-in-Chief of Horizons – Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development. Mr. Jeremić has served as Senior Advisor at Swiss Partners Group since March 2020, where he served as Member of Life Advisory Council from December 2017 to December 2019. Mr. Jeremić has also served as member of the board at ePlata Atomic 47 since March 2016 and at Lineup Media Group since October 2019. In June 2012, Mr. Jeremić was directly elected by the majority of the world’s nations to be the President of the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Jeremić served as Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2012. In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Jeremić led Serbia’s successful campaign for the Chairmanship-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the year 2015. Before entering public service, Mr. Jeremić worked in London for Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Jeremić has lectured at major universities, think-tanks, and institutes around the world, as well as publishing opinion pieces in leading outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. Mr. Jeremić was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013 and appointed to the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) in 2014. Mr. Jeremić holds a bachelor’s degree in Theoretical and Experimental Physics from Cambridge University and a master’s degree in Public Administration/International Development from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.