Gooru was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in January 2011 with a mission to honor the human right to education. In addition to providing governance, the Board of Directors are dedicated to and fully support Gooru's mission.
Nancy Butler Songer is a Distinguished University Professor and Dean of the School of Education at Drexel University. Dr. Songer is an expert in science education and learning technologies with particular emphasis on the assessment of science knowledge and the design of learning environments that emphasize critical thinking in science. Songer’s work in educational assessment draws from the realization that students’ complex science knowledge development was not well represented in off-the-shelf assessments. Songer is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and she is the recipient of both a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship by President William J. Clinton and a United States of America Department of Education Promising Educational Technology Award. Prior to Drexel, Songer was a professor at the University of Michigan for eighteen years where she conducted the majority of her research in conjunction with the Detroit Public Schools.
Prasad Ram (aka Pram) is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Gooru. While working at Google, Pram devised a prototype to address his problem of finding age and topic appropriate educational resources on the web. Gooru, as it is today, began as a “20% effort” evolved into a year-long pilot in India that included 1,000 students across 25 classrooms. Pram met Amara then left Google to pursue Gooru as a non-profit education technology start-up. Pram has previously worked at Xerox Research, Dynamx Technology (co-founder), Yahoo! and Google. Pram has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from UCLA, and he obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT-Bombay. You can reach Pram at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ram Shriram founded Sherpalo Ventures, a boutique “mentor” capital firm in January 2000, with the goal of applying his wealth of operating and company building experience to promising early stage ventures. As a technology insider for over 25 years, he works closely with founding teams on the challenging issues that confront and sometimes confound early stage companies. Ram has served as an officer of Amazon.com. Ram came to Amazon.com in August 1998, when Amazon acquired Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm of which Ram was president. While at Amazon, Ram helped grow the customer base during its early high growth phase in 1998-1999. Before Junglee and Amazon, Ram joined the Netscape executive team in 1994. Ram is a founding investor and board member of Google Inc. and 247customer.com. Ram also serves on Stanford University’s Board of Trustees. He is a passionate supporter of non-profit initiatives in online education, both K-12 and higher education.
Alex Belous is the Education Portfolio Manager for the Cisco Foundation. Alex began his career as a first grade teacher, and then as the Internet Technology Manager for the Arizona Department of Education where he improved the opportunity of rural and underserved students on Native American reservations and in other high-need school districts. Joining Cisco in 1998, Alex served as one of the founders of the Cisco Network Academy--a dynamic learning platform that now serves more than 1 million students per year. After 6 years Alex transferred to the Cisco Corporate Affairs group as the Education Specialist, working with teams across the company to address innovative and effective use of network technologies in schools. Alex holds a BA Early Childhood Education and two Masters in Elementary Education/Reading Instruction and Counseling Psychology.
Barry Fishman is an Associate Professor at the School of Education and School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Barry was the recipient of the University of Michigan Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize (2010), the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies (2001) and the Pattishall Junior Faculty Research Award from the University of Michigan (2003). He received his AB from Brown University in English and American Literature, his MS from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology, and his PhD in learning sciences from Northwestern University.
Jack West has taught science for fifteen years. He cofounded the edtech research nonprofit Braincandy and has been recognized several times as a Silicon Valley innovative educator. He continues to teach part time, and he advises the digital tools search site Edshelf and works with Hapara, an edtech company that optimizes Google Apps for Education.
John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. Previously, he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He was deeply involved in the management of radical innovation and in the formation of corporate strategy and strategic positioning of Xerox as The Document Company. John has also received a few honorary degrees along the way, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
M. S. Krishnan (“Krishnan”) is the Joseph Handleman Professor of Information Systems and Innovation and Professor of Technology & Operations at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. His research articles on Business Technology have appeared in several journals, including Management Science, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Information Week.
Vijay Shriram serves on the Board of Stanford New Schools Corporation, which oversees the East Palo Alto Academy. She also runs the Ram Shriram family foundation, called the Dhanam Foundation, which is focused on supporting innovation in K-12 education. The foundation has invested in the Level Playing Field Institute’s (LPFI) residential summer program at Stanford and The Magic Bus Learning Institute in Mumbai, India. More recently, it has invested in Gooru to support the development and roll-out of Gooru. Vijay started her career as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and went on to become an active participant in the Saratoga Public Schools, CA. Vijay received an M.A. in History from Bharatiyar University, India.
Zohre Elahian has been actively involved in international development for over 10 years. With her husband, she started Schools Online, a not-for-profit organization that has brought computers to schools and introduced ICT in education in many countries around the world and within the US. As the Managing Director of Global Catalyst Foundation, she has also evaluated many projects, addressing critical needs in education, ICT and microfinance; her Foundation has provided funding to such projects in many countries. She has also served on the board of directors of Relief International for over 8 years, working on different developmental and humanitarian projects in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and more. Prior to her humanitarian activities, she co-managed a successful private business for 15 years. In 2009, Zohre received the Unsung Heroes of Compassion award and special blessing from His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.