Leadership Team

Ulrik Juul Christensen, MD

Executive Chairman (Area9 Group)
Chief Executive Officer (Area9 Lyceum)

Dr. Christensen is recognized worldwide as an expert in learning technology. He has pioneered adaptive learning, data-driven content development, simulation and debriefing technologies. He is responsible for the strategy of Area9 Group’s businesses, that span from purpose-built platforms for optimization of business processes for large corporations over digital product design to corporate training based on intelligent, adaptive learning.

He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997 while still in medical school. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal Medical in 2002. Dr. Christensen was responsible for Laerdal’s global learning technologies initiatives from 2002–2006. Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 Group in 2006, which has been at the forefront of adaptive and personalized learning with more than 1500 adaptive learning products based on the Area9 technologies and millions of students using the systems every semester. Area9 Education was sold to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014 and Area9 Learning was established to focus on adaptive learning in corporate and organizational environments.

Dr. Christensen was part of the McGraw-Hill Higher Education leadership team from 2011 to 2014 and the MHE Executive Leadership Team from February 2014 to 2016, where he stepped down to focus on the rapidly growing Area9 Innovation and Area9 Learning enterprises.

His primary focus is Area9 Lyceum which in January 2018 assembled all the group’s educational investments and technologies, and set out to create the 4th generation adaptive learning platform and the first generation supporting four-dimensional education.

Dr. Christensen is on the boards of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and LEAP Innovations. He is also on the advisory board for Mastery Transcript Consortium, Transcend Education, CharacterLab, Center for Curriculum Redesign and Moonshots.org.

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Khurram Jamil, MD

President - Global Markets

Dr. Khurram Jamil is President Global Markets where he focuses on regional expansions and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training.

Dr. Jamil’s entrepreneurial experience extends over 20 years. He has successfully led dozens of teams comprising of medical professionals and educational scientists, spearheaded large development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million-dollar educational software development projects.

After earning his medical degree in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational simulators at Laerdal Medical. These simulators were used in the U.S. Department of Defense for Combat Medic Training. Following this, revolutionary screen-based simulators were created for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS) used by millions of providers.

He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, while partnering with McGraw-Hill Education to deploy adaptive learning technology. Since then, more than 25 million students have used LearnSmart & SmartBook (property of McGraw-Hill Education – acquired in 2014).

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and is involved with various cultural & art organizations to support building creative and reflective societies. He is a board member at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library – a center than develops programs to inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues. He is a board member of American Friends of SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark. He also on the Education Council of the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society.


Asger Alstrup Palm

Group Chief Technology Officer
Chief Architect

Mr. Palm has been an early pioneer of high-performance, agile programming. He is a specialist in translating computer science from the cutting edge academic environments to the solutions that address real commercially viable needs.

Mr. Palm has been part of the current leadership team since the owners’ first company (which he was a co-owner of) where he joined the team in 1998.

Mr. Palm and his second-in-command, Mr. Tommy Olesen, have built a unique team of the absolute best, high performance software architects. Their recruitment tests are considered amongst the hardest in the industry.


Niels Vildbrad

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Vildbrad has several years of strategic business management experience incl. substantial M&A experience from healthcare-IT and educational industries. He has led cross-border teams from acquisitions through the integration phase, with focus on growth and streamlining of operations.

Prior to joining Area9, Mr. Vildbrad ran a US-division for a large listed German healthcare-IT company, where he completed a successful turnaround, re-establishing a sales organization and reduced customer churn.

He is responsible for all business development and partnerships for the Area9 Group and works closely with the executive chairman in the management of the group.

Mr. Vildbrad holds an M.Sc. in Economics & Management from Aarhus University of Denmark, and is based in Milan, Italy.


Tashia Dam

Chief Pedagogy Officer

Ms. Dam has 10 years experience with developing intelligent, educational technologies and content at scale. She originally joined Area9 in 2008 and was part of the small team building the early versions of our adaptive systems. When Area9 was sold to McGraw-Hill, Ms. Dam was part of the McGraw-Hill transition team from 2014-2016.
From 2016 to 2018, Ms. Dam was VP. of Research and Innovation at Lix Technologies, and she brings significant state of the art knowledge of learning, education, pedagogics and technology.
Prior to joining Area9 in 2008, she was teaching at Institute of Pedagogics at Copenhagen University, from where she also earned her MA in Philosophy of Education & Theoretical Pedagogics.
Ms. Dam was expert advisor in the Danish Ministry of Education’s Council on Technology in Education timeboxed for 2017-2018, and she is on the Employer Panel Advisory Board at Institute of Pedagogics & Education, Århus University.
She also does peer-reviews for Association for Learning Technology, UK and regularly writes reviews of technology-philosophy books for the Danish magazine, Altinget.



Dana Price

Chief Financial Officer

Dana Price serves as the CFO of Area9 Lyceum joining in May 2021. Prior to this she was CFO of Kenzie Academy, a VC-backed EdTech startup that taught the underserved, which was sold to Southern New Hampshire University in March 2021.  Dana has worked at McGraw-Hill Education, and held Chief Financial Officer roles at several firms, including Commonwealth Business Media where she helped sell the private equity backed portfolio company to United Business Media.  Dana spent a number of years at Primedia in both a financial and M&A capacity.  She has worked on over 100 transactions on the buy and sell sides as well as the integration of acquisitions.  Dana is passionate about Entrepreneurship and chocolate chip cookies.  Dana began her career at Deloitte, holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Binghamton and a MBA from Cornell University.  She is also a CPA.


Lars Kirkeskov Sørup

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Soerup combines the skill sets and experience of both start-ups and large corporate environments. Being one of the four main owners of Sophus Medical, Mr. Soerup has been on the journey building companies from scratch. When the current owners left Laerdal Medical to start Area9, Mr. Soerup stayed at Laerdal Medical to head up the R&D department and being a member of the executive management team of the company that is one of the largest emergency medical device, training and simulation companies globally

Mr. Soerup brings significant strategic leadership experience as well medical and educational product development experience.

Mr. Soerup has a M.Sc. in civil engineering from Technical University of Denmark with a specialty in electronics and mathematical modeling.


Jan Krogh Larsen

Chief Product Officer

Jan Krogh Larsen is a senior leader in the publishing and EdTech industry. He holds a Master’s Degree from University of Copenhagen (English, Learning and Pedagogics) and was employed in Egmont from 2004 to 2018 (Danish media group with activities in 30 countries and 6,200 employees).

As an Editor, Editorial Director and Editor-in-chief, Jan has knowledge and hands-on-experience of all aspects of the publishing industry. As president for Egmont’s high school publishing house running editorial, sales, marketing, organizational development, innovation andstrategy and as the architect of a national digital platform used by 10 competing publishing houses Jan has executed successful business innovation with special focus on effective publishing systems across companies.

Today, Jan is head of development and product management of the publishing and educational platform from Area9 Lyceum and he has the overall responsibility for commercialization and partnerships in the K20 space, globally.


Tommy Olesen

Executive Vice President,
Core technologies

Mr. Olesen was educated at the University of Copenhagen as computer
scientist, specializing in semantics and implementation of programming languages, areas crucial in building the Area9 tools that help people realize their potential with IT.

Mr. Olesen has 16 years of experience in adaptive learning solutions and computer simulation, agile software development and managing software development in geographically distributed teams.


Kristen Raffetto

Chief of Staff

Kristen has 17 years’ accounting and finance experience.  Before joining the Area9 team in 2014, she served as the Assistant Controller and HR Manager for a private healthcare consulting firm.  She specializes in GAAP Compliance, staff recruitment, and maintaining operational excellence.

As Chief of Staff for the CEO, Kristen leads the Product Management task force, as well as overseeing US finance and HR.

Kristen holds a BS in Accounting from Bryant University.


Mads Diermayr

Executive Vice President,
Product Management

As the Executive VP of Product Management at Area9 Lyceum, Mads is responsible for bringing development teams and the product vision together while keeping customer satisfaction high. His 17 years of experience in the Learning and Simulation field, have made Mads a veteran of developing easy-to-use advanced learning and eSimulation software. Among the top tier projects he has worked on in the past, you can find AHA HeartCode®, RQI® and MHE LearnSmart® Adaptive Learning Suite. He brings extensive international experience ranging from product and project management, to development, as well as team building, QA and customer service. Mads’ core beliefs is having an agile mindset and doing what it takes to get things done.


Andy Wooler

Senior Vice President
Product Management (Learning Systems & Integrations)

Andy Wooler has some 20 years experience in the world of Learning Technologies.

Prior to joining the Area9 Lyceum team in 2021, he has served as a Learning Strategist for a leading company in the Data and Digital Solutions space. Prior to that, he has led learning platform projects in global Financial Services organisations.

Andy holds an MBA from the Open University and is a Fellow of the Learning & Performance Institute.


Søren Frank Andersen

Senior Vice President
Integrations and Architecture

Mr. Andersen has a strong background in Development and Technology management through more than 25 years of work in the simulation and education space. Being one of the founders and four main owners of Sophus Medical. Mr. Andersen been part of the architectural and technology development leadership team from the startup phase, through the acquisition as part a larger group at Laerdal Medical.

In 2018 Mr. Andersen joined Area9 as SVP of Integrations and Architecture utilizing the strong experience in integration and technology.

Mr. Andersen hold a Master of Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at Copenhagen University.


Merethe Stjerne Thomsen

Executive Vice President
Global Implementation

Ms. Stjerne Thomsen is the Senior Vice President of Implementation Strategy and comes with +15 years of experience from strategy to business growth at the intersection of technology, design, and industry.

Prior to Area9 Lyceum, she has led a healthcare SaaS start-up, headed up organizational development at Design Management in the LEGO Group, been strategic innovation lead at Grundfos, and independent consultant for leadership in SMEs and large multi-national organizations in the renewable energy sector.

Ms. Stjerne Thomsen holds a M.Sc. Engineering in Industrial Design from Aalborg University, Denmark and did research on innovation management at University of Southern Denmark.

She is external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.


Hayat Feghaly

Learning Architect

Hayat Feghaly joined Area9 in 2015 and designs and builds digital learning architecture. Hayat interacts with industry professionals, learning experts, and our partners; translating course content into adaptive delivery which makes it easier for employees and corporations to achieve their educational goals. She creates learning courses for corporations by translating subject matter and pedagogical knowledge into just the right product to teach it to the employees.

Prior to working at Area9 Hayat was employed with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance as an Instructional Designer. She also served as a Program Manager for Printing, Graphic Arts and Multimedia at the Australian Institute of Technology and Education. Additionally, she worked as an Instructional Designer at the Western Australian Government Department of Training and Education in Australia.

Hayat has a Masters in Learning and Development (Learning Design), a Bachelor of Multimedia and a Diploma in Assessment and Workplace Training.


Karis Amata Zecchi

Learning Architect

Karis studied Physics at the University of Florence (BSc, Italy) and at the University of Copenhagen (MSc, DK). At the latter, she did a PhD in biophysics with a thesis on polarization in biomembranes.

Karis’ educational/pedagogical experience consists of more than ten years of teaching, and includes private tutoring to students from primary school to University students and teaching assistant activity in different courses at the Niels Bohr Institute.

After her research activity, she has been developing interactive educational material in the form of virtual laboratories simulations for both Web and VR.

In addition to being a learning engineer, Karis is the learning architect at Area9 for math where she is responsible for math content and content technology.


Hannah Scanlon

Learning Architect

Hannah joined the Area9 team in 2020. As a Learning Architect on the STEM team, she works with clients to design adaptive courses, and trains Learning Engineers in the best practices of learning engineering in STEM content.

Prior to working at Area9, Hannah studied Biology and Psychology at McGill University (BSc) and has been involved in STEM education for 6+ years. Her background includes tutoring math and sciences at the secondary and post-secondary levels, developing 1-on-1 learning strategies for students with learning disabilities, and teaching English as a second language.


Boris Rozenfeld, MD

Learning Architect

Dr. Boris Rozenfeld serves as the Learning Architect for Healthcare Education at Area9 Lyceum. In addition to overseeing and continually training a team of Medical Learning Engineers, Dr. Rozenfeld also trains our partners on best practices in learning design and ways to utilize them in Area9’s Rhapsode™ Platform.

Prior to his time at Area9, Dr. Rozenfeld’s experience focused on Continuing Medical Education (CME) at RMEI and Pri-Med after completing his medical degree in 2014. More recently, as a member of Pri-Med’s Clinical Team, he oversaw all areas of CME content creation and assisted with educational grant proposals and business strategy.

During his medical school training at Drexel University College of Medicine, Dr. Rozenfeld conceptualized and developed The Patient Safety and Quality Leadership Institute, the first clinical student-focused leadership training program in the US around improving the quality of healthcare. Dr. Rozenfeld’s current interest is the utilization of education theory and emerging educational technologies to develop training programs that are practical and impactful.


Kathrine Storm

Learning Architect

Kathrine joined Area9 in 2018. She designs and builds digital learning architecture, conducts internal learning engineer supervision, and trains our partners to become certified learning engineers within Area9 U. Kathrine translates subject matter into adaptive delivery for corporations and organizations, designing the best solutions to meet specific client needs.

Prior to working at Area9, Kathrine was employed in the Danish media group Egmont where she was an editor of digital teaching materials as well as textbooks for high school level. Kathrine has also worked as a translator, and as a communications consultant for The Danish Reader Organization (an NGO working to improve mental health through shared reading).

Kathrine holds a master’s degree in Danish and Philosophy.


Sara Melson

Learning Architect

Knowledge sharing and learning design have been guiding passions for Sara throughout her professional life. She has worked in different startups with local and international partners and teams as a project manager, program director of urban development and art conferences, and concept developer of a physical learning platform.

Sara’s focus at Area9 is to design, build and ensure sublime adaptive e-learning products. She herself teaches external partners in building adaptive e-learning experiences, and acts as a supervisor and mentor for team members.

Sara holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sociology from Copenhagen University and Bilgi Universitesi, Istanbul.


Elena Filatova

Learning Architect

An advocate of e-learning, Elena believes that in many cases, if used effectively, e-learning provides more effective learning experiences and takes learners to mastery more quickly than any other form of instruction.

With a background in language teaching, training, and curriculum design, Elena has been developing and building engaging and meaningful learning experiences for adults for over fifteen years.

She joined Area9 Lyceum in 2019. She helps clients transform their materials into adaptive courses, trains novice learning engineers on best practices in learning design and makes sure that the final product each client gets is up to the highest standard.


Peter Miller

Learning Architect

Curiosity, experience, growth, and enrichment are anchored by a singular concept – learning. Creating and delivering all types of learning experiences has been at the core of Peter’s professional journey.

Peter’s natural tendency for autodidactism has taken him into many intellectual spheres. However, his love for sharing knowledge became his profession when he taught writing and literature to high school students for 10 years. During this time, it was his passion for learning design that he found most rewarding.

Peter believes that a top quality learning experience is beautiful, efficient, and built for purpose.

Peter has been with Area9 Lyceum since 2018. Here, he extends his love of teaching and learning into a global arena. He designs e-learning experiences for industry leading clients, teaches the conceptual and practical applications of adaptive learning, contributes to edtech platform development, and leads and coaches team members.

Peter holds a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Bridgewater State University.


Ave Lausing

Learning Architect

Ave is passionate about creating transformative learning experiences and has a double role as a Learning Architect and an Implementation Excellence Manager.

Ave has a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Tallinn (Estonia) and wrote her thesis about formative and diagnostic assessment on adaptive platforms. For her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, her research interest was language learning technology.

Before joining the Area9 team in 2019, she worked for several years as a Senior E-Assessment Manager in an educational foundation, focusing on creating digital assessments for K-12 learners.

In addition to teaching and tutoring experience, she has more than a decade of background in business management.


Marc Berg, MD

Chief Clinical Advisor

Dr. Berg is an internationally recognized and respected clinician, scientist and educator. He serves as Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Critical Care) at Stanford University and Director of the REVIVE Initiative in Resuscitation Excellence at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. He has published numerous manuscripts in over 20 years of academic medicine, primarily in critical care, resuscitation and CPR performance. In teaching, he led the 2010 American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care Pediatric Subcommittee in producing Guidelines for Pediatric Resuscitation and the PALS and PEARS courses, taken by millions of students worldwide. He has been with Area9 since it’s inception and is currently Chief Clinical Advisor for the Area9 Group.


Claus Biermann, MD MPH

Chief Medical Advisor
Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s Chief Medical Advisor, Healthcare Education. He advises on our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also advises on Area9’s efforts to partner with the healthcare industry, both for internal and external stakeholder medical education.

Dr. Biermann has a background as MD from Medical University Bochum in Germany and a Master in Public Health (MPH) from University Bielefeld in Germany. He was trained in transplantations and abdominal surgery as well as urology at several international universities, including serving at University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow for Experimental Research and has an extensive publication list.

Dr. Biermann was very active in Outcomes & Value Based Healthcare Research next to basic scientific clinical work and publications. He worked as an Executive cross sectoral in all major healthcare industries; Pharmaceutical, MedTech, IT and Services.His last position was Chief Strategy & Healthcare Policy Officer in a global renal care services company.

Claus was appointed Visiting Professor Medicine at Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences in Bochum. The HSG is the only university in Germany to offer five bachelor and master  degree programs for healthcare professions.


Kaili Mitt

General Manager
Area9 Excellence Center Europe

Kaili coordinates day-to-day activities at Area9 Excellence Center Europe.

With 10+ years experience as a Administrator, Supervisor or Team Lead, Kaili has been responsible for running day-to-day operations, overseeing the hiring, onboarding and scheduling of staff, as well as maintaining budgets and optimizing business expenses.

Kaili holds a B.A. in business management and continues studying practical educational technology.


Olivia Hansen

Director of Process and Implementation

Olivia is directing content curation processes and implementation at Area9. Olivia is in charge of resource planning and -management, delegation of work tasks and project reporting all to ensure smooth workflow processes and business efficiency throughout the content production.

Prior to joining Area9, Olivia worked as Head of Support at the e-learning company, Lix, where her primary focus was to improve support processes and to apply the knowledge gained from the user feedback in the product development. Olivia took part in the development of a new AI support platform in terms of identifying and designing the needed functionalities, metrics and creating a ticket routing system to optimize response time.

Olivia holds a MA in Culture, Communication and Globalisation from Aalborg University with a specialisation in Organisation and Leadership.


Solution Architecture - AMERICAS

Ross Berger

Vice President
Learning Solutions Architect

Ross Berger comes to Area9 with over 9 years of highly consultative SaaS based sales experience within the Talent Development and HCM space.

He specializes in partnering with organizations to understand their true challenges as it relates to human capital, and works with them to develop impactful, business driving solutions moving forward.

Ross focuses on delivery value while strategizing with companies around ways to increase the efficiency of their Talent Development approach, reducing the time it takes learners to reach proficiency, and provides individual learners and organizations time back in their day to drive true business impacts. Ross graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology.


Stephanie Puls

Senior Implementation Manager

Stephanie joined Area 9 Lyceum in 2021. She brings over 10 years experience in the claims and contact services industry, having held senior leadership roles in client implementation, quality development, and team management.

She has led quality review projects that ensured tools, processes, and resources were streamlined in for successful utilization and compliance. Under her leadership and implementation management, she directed successful client collaborations that bridged gaps across all support group departments. She worked closely with clients to put their procedures in production, as well as reviewing analytical data to continuously improve processes. Her experience also includes onboarding, training, and mentoring new colleagues remotely across the US and in person. Her emphasis is on aligning colleague and client partnerships with a vision that will establish a successful, efficient, and productive environment.

Stephanie holds a BA degree in Business Marketing from Loras College in Dubuque IA, where she currently resides. In her free time she enjoys running outdoors, reading, traveling, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.



Kat Daz

Senior Implementation Manager

Kat is a graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a B.S. in Finance and Political Science. Her previous professional experience includes her tenure at Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor.

Kat joined Area9 Lyceum Inc. soon after it was founded in 2018. She sits at the nexus of business operations, procurement, strategic implementation, and the technical arm of the company. She specializes in idiosyncratic implementations that require deeper analysis and customization work. Insatiably curious about the empirical research underpinning the educational technologies that power Area9’s platforms, she has found a perpetual stream of fodder through the evolution of Area9’s product suite.

Currently Kat resides in Rhode Island with her German Shepherd, Ace. When not focused on delivering value to clientele and supporting the international team, here at Area9, Kat can be found immersed in political campaign work, exploring cities and the intricacies of urban planning, and convincing Ace he indeed, is not a lap dog.


Solution Architecture - EUROPE

Natasha Guindy

Enterprise Solutions Architect, Nordics

Natasha has always been involved with educational matters throughout her career, both as an educator and a business consultant. Her diverse experiences within the learning space include public and private organizations such as the Danish Defence College, large corporations, colleges, and universities.

Natashas core work reflects respect, humility, and understanding of the subject matter while supporting her customers on an academic and strategic level by co-developing the latest and most appropriate learning cultures and quality assurances. This character trait has, amongst others, led Natasha to become a member of the Employer Panel Advisory Board for the Institute of Pedagogics at the University of Copenhagen.

Furthermore, Natasha was the editor of the Journal of Danish Pedagogics, and she is still performing peer-reviews for the Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies.

Natasha holds a MA in Education and Theoretical Pedagogics from the University of Copenhagen.


Charlotte Dwyer

Learning Solution Architect

Charlotte is an experienced Learning Solution Architect. She has worked for some of the UKs leading digital learning agencies in senior positions over the past twenty years, most recently Client Director at Brightwave Group/Capita Learning were she was responsible for managing complex digital learning solutions for both public and private sector clients.

Charlotte brings creativity and experience in delivering innovative solutions which span across all industry sectors and develops effective and trusted partnerships. She is passionate about turning business needs into measurable business outcomes by helping to bring systemic change through effective and immersive learning solutions.


James Tubb

Director Learning Solutions Architect, UK

James is an experienced Client Relationship Director and Team Leader. Prior to working for Area9, he worked for the largest technical training company in the UK. He has worked within learning for over 10 years, supporting both public and private sector clients to achieve business outcomes through learning.

In his most recent role at QA ltd., he took the lead in supporting key Central Government organisations, working on complex solutions that were aligned to key digital transformation initiatives.

James is a proud Dyslexic thinker and uses his industry knowledge and ‘out of the box’ thinking to find innovative solutions to his client’s requirements. His experience of education led him to study Psychology at Brunel University and has given him a passion for supporting a neurodiverse audience through technology driven learning.


Riccardo Larini

Solution Architect, Italy


Maddie Kilminster

Senior Director Product Management, K-20 and Publishing

As a Senior Director on the Product Management team, Maddie works closely with publishers, schools and universities to roll out Area9 Rhapsode™. Maddie’s main focus is on ensuring a seamless implementation and on aligning the technology development with real use cases.

Maddie is passionate about learning, language and social impact. She has worked for a number of educational publishers and EdTech firms, in editorial and marketing roles. She has taught English in Germany, taken part in reading outreach schemes in UK schools, and is currently studying for an MA in Education: Culture, Language and Identity at Goldsmiths, London.

With a bachelor’s degree in languages, Maddie speaks German and French.


Adrian Snook

Special Advisor
Learning Solutions Architect, UK

Adrian Snook has maintained a focus on the cutting-edge of learning technology and learning solutions for nearly 28 years, having held roles within award-winning multimedia, virtual reality, e-learning, performance consulting, technology and soft-skills training providers as well as senior positions within  FTSE100 corporates like Babcock International Group and Capita plc.

Adrian graduated in 1996 with a BA Degree is Communication, Culture and Media from Leeds University.  He built his first career in the world of residential property with Hambro Countrywide plc, rapidly progressing to become a manager,  running a succession of agency branch offices at Congleton, Middlewich, Northwich and finally at Nantwich in Cheshire.

In 1992 he moved into the learning space, setting up the independent video production provider Dragonfly Communication, specialising in producing MPEG digital video to service what were then ‘Computer Based Training’ (CBT) companies. Adrian went on to join one of his major clients as an employee in 1996 and then moved to Stevenage-based Skillchange Systems in 1997, helping to grow this innovative CBT business to the point this was acquired by VEGA Group plc.

In 2000 he was headhunted by US SaaS e-Learning pioneer DigitalThink Inc, to extend their reach to the UK. One year later he joined The Training Foundation as Director of Corporate Development.  At that point this new organization was being spun-off from the Institute of IT Training as a start-up brand, twinned with the TAP framework of train-the-trainer courses and the brand-new new Certified e-Learning Professional (CeLP) programme.

Several years of success culminated in the business being awarded its first Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2005.  Adrian was successively promoted to become Operations Director, Director of Professional Services and finally Deputy CEO.

In 2009 Adrian founded Learning Accelerators Limited, an independent consultancy offering specialist advice and support for learning, training and learning technology providers and their investors on strategies for commercial success.  Babcock International Group plc and Skills2Learn Limited,  a market-leading specialist in Virtual Reality learning solutions, were both valued early clients. After providing an increasing level of support as an external consultant Adrian joined the Skills2Learn team as Director of Learning Solutions in 2012, helping to grow the business to the point of acquisition by Babcock International Group in late 2013.

He spent the next five years as Head of Consultancy for Babcock, leading an outstanding team of learning and development professionals working on challenging international learning and performance projects across land, sea, air and nuclear environments.

After a spell as Client Director with Capita Plc and a period acting as an independent strategic advisor to Area9 Lyceum, Adrian joined us as UK Director of Learning Solutions in February 2020.


Solution Architecture - MEA

Hania Baramki

Managing Director,
Area9 Lyceum MENA

Passionate, highly energetic and experienced executive with a solid track record of accomplishments in leading organizations, penetrating new markets, building partnerships, driving solution led sales across diverse sectors including Public Sector, Finance, Telecoms and Construction. Hania recently joined Area9 Lyceum as the Managing Director for the MENA region. Hania is an experienced leader with multi-national experience with fortune 500 companies, she is a trained systems’ and leadership Coach, and is skilled in change and conflict management.

Prior to joining Area9, Hania was the MEA Regional Commercial Director for McGraw Hill Education. During her tenure, Hania restructured the Go-to-Market and increased market penetration by 30%, developed key strategic alliances and partnerships to provide adapted solutions for both the Higher Education and K-12 sectors across the region positioning MHE as a learning science company.

Prior to joining McGraw-Hill Education, Hania spent ten years working for Cisco in different leadership positions; Head of Cisco Capital Middle-East, Africa and Russia CIS, Director of Business Development for the Education Vertical across EMEA and Vertical Sales lead for Smart Cities across Emerging markets. During her tenure, she structured financial solutions of over $1 billion, leading into incremental revenues for Cisco, designed the strategy and Go-to-Market for Smart Cities and Education verticals, positioned Cisco as a trusted advisor with C-level executives across Private and Public Sector institutions and generated incremental sales of over $100 million.

Before joining Cisco, Hania was a senior consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in Paris where she advised and assisted C-level executives of Fortune 500 companies with their diversification and Go-to-Market strategies.

Hania’s work experience spanned across many countries; Turkmenistan, South Africa, Jordan, Hungary, UAE, France and Mexico, making Hania a truly multi-cultural individual, who understands and appreciates the different value systems.
Hania holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College, Schenectady, NY, and an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management, Case-Western Reserve University, CL, OH. She is fluent in Arabic, English and French.


MHD Khair AL-Nahhas

Director Solutions Architect

Hi there! I’m MHD Khair AL-Nahhas – and I’m obsessed with Education with 10+ years of experience, despite my biomedical engineering background.

Since April 2020, I’ve been the head of learning engineering for MEA at Area9 Lyceum, where I’ve focused my time on adaptive learning consulting and content curation.

I’m always happy to connect with like-minded Education professionals. Shoot me a message – I look forward to hearing from you!


Khalid Al Kaff

Solution Architect

With more than nine years experience Khalid Al Kaff has progressed through different roles in sales and business development in the HR consulting industry.

Prior to joining Area9, Khalid worked in sales and business development for executive education focusing on change management and digital talent management solutions.

Khalid manages the business development for Area9 in the MENA region.


Himanshu Joshi

Senior Director Implementation and Customer Success

Himanshu comes with a comprehensive background in Digital Transformation and has held several Senior Leadership positions in Higher Education and the Corporate sector. His noteworthy contributions are defining UAE’s first eLearning Standards, managing the world’s largest mobile learning implementation, strategizing digital learning in the Aviation sector, and strengthening the academia-industry partnerships.

Himanshu has an Engineering degree, an MBA and a PGDM in Strategy and Innovation (University of Oxford). He is passionate about innovation and making learning accessible to all. Himanshu also likes exploring the underwater world as an advanced scuba diver.


Solution Architecture - D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach

Managing Director, D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach has over 25 years of experience in training, coaching and personnel development with a focus on sales and concept development. He is managing director of a renowned training institute with locations in Hamburg and Leipzig as well as subsidiaries abroad.

In the past, he was also a member of the board of the Baltic Chamber of Commerce.

He last brought in his trainer expertise as author of the book “Dynamisch Verhandeln – Entscheiden, was andere entscheiden” (“Dynamic Negotiating – Deciding What Others Decide”).

At Area9 he is the Managing Director of Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig.


Ulrike Dienemann

Chief of Staff, D-A-CH

Ulrike Maria Dienemann has several years of experience in business development, organizational & personnel development in communication, as well as in university & training services sectors.

Before joining Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig, she worked for many years as a site manager at a training institute and was responsible for business development at a private business school.

At Area9 Lyceum GmbH, Ms. Dienemann is responsible for managing the Leipzig office, personnel recruiting and development and organizational development.

Ms. Dienemann holds a master’s degree in communication and media sciences as well as business administration from the University of Leipzig.


Martin Holmes

Senior Director
Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Martin Holmes has experience in a number of different fields all relating to Education. Before moving to Germany in 2017, he worked as a Teacher in the UK. Mr. Holmes lead the implementation of a new computing curriculum and provided regular training to teachers on the topic of incorporating the use of technology and e-learning in the classroom. Following this, Martin Holmes joined a training institute in Germany, specializing in corporate training and e-learning. This role involved collaborating with sales teams and developers, as well as a large partner network in Europe in order to plan, coordinate and manage the success of training and e-learning projects with clients.

He is now Product and Implementation Excellence Manager at Area9 Lyceum GmbH. Mr. Holmes works closely with the team of learning engineers as well as the product development team to ensure the customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning.


Claus Biermann, MD MPH

Chief Medical Advisor
Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s Chief Medical Advisor, Healthcare Education. He advises on our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also advises on Area9’s efforts to partner with the healthcare industry, both for internal and external stakeholder medical education.

Dr. Biermann has a background as MD from Medical University Bochum in Germany and a Master in Public Health (MPH) from University Bielefeld in Germany. He was trained in transplantations and abdominal surgery as well as urology at several international universities, including serving at University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow for Experimental Research and has an extensive publication list.

Dr. Biermann was very active in Outcomes & Value Based Healthcare Research next to basic scientific clinical work and publications. He worked as an Executive cross sectoral in all major healthcare industries; Pharmaceutical, MedTech, IT and Services.His last position was Chief Strategy & Healthcare Policy Officer in a global renal care services company.

Claus was appointed Visiting Professor Medicine at Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences in Bochum. The HSG is the only university in Germany to offer five bachelor and master  degree programs for healthcare professions.


Maike Anton

Head of Global Marketing

Maike Anton has over 10 years of experience in marketing, with a focus on marketing planning and controlling for the online and offline sector. In her previous position at a renowned company in the field of personnel development, she was responsible for setting up and supporting a Europe-wide sales network.

Since joining Area9 in 2019, she is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of all marketing activities in the DACH region at Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig. She brings her extensive experience in international partner management to the company. Since February 2022, Maike has been responsible for the company’s global marketing.

Maike Anton studied at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg and the Free University Berlin and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy Neuroscience Cognition and a Master’s degree in Business Marketing.


Miriam Klugmann

Marketing Manager

Miriam Klugmann started her career in the field of public relations, continued as a communications consultant and rounded off her freelance work as a copywriter and content strategist with a specialization in content marketing.

She has a master’s degree in literature and cultural studies from the TU Dresden and a bachelor’s degree in German and sociology from the University of Kassel. She has been Marketing Manager at Area9 since November 2022.


Knut Sonnabend

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Knut Sonnabend has more than 20 years of sales experience and brought in his expertise especially in the logistics and building materials sectors. Most recently, he was very successful in the sales of technical solutions for a leading mobile phone provider in Germany. He expanded his area of responsibility due to his high sales experience and also supported the personnel development for numerous teams within the company. He was significantly involved in the conception of trainings as well as the onboarding of new employees.

In his subsequent position at a training institute, he deepened his knowledge in the area of coaching and personnel development and was responsible for the sales of a video-based online training platform.

Since the beginning of 2019, he has worked first as an Account Manager and today as a Business Development Manager for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position he is responsible for the development and implementation of customer satisfaction and customer development processes.


Christian Hense

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Christian Hense studied linguistics and philosophy and focused himself to the core areas of logic, science and argumentation theory. He has 10 years of experience in project management. He was able to apply and expand his skills at a pharmaceutical company as well as in one of the largest organisations for applied research and development services in Europe.

In his subsequent job he contributed his expertise especially in business organisation. He expanded his area of responsibility and headed the operations organisation department of a renowned Road safety Management. He advanced the digitalisation and modernisation of the process map and successfully implemented challenges such as GDPR in the company.

Since 2021, he has been working as Manager Implementation Success for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of processes in the area of customer satisfaction and customer development. He is the head of Area9’s education team and continues to drive project processes in K12.


Diana Herbert-Nguyen

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Dr. Diana Herbert-Nguyen studied biology in Leipzig and worked as a research assistant in medical research during her studies. She completed her doctorate at the University Hospital in Leipzig in the field of dermatology.

Diana worked, among other things, as a science editor in a Leipzig-based startup for 3D visualization of scientific content and was primarily concerned with content creation of exam-relevant content into the online platform for medical students.

After further education in life science management, she brings extensive know-how from the pharmaceutical industry, such as drug development and approval, legal basics as well as project management, sales and business administration.

Since May 2021 she supports the Area9 team at the Leipzig location as Manager Implementation Success.


Felix Rabe

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Felix Rabe has a background in sports management, having studied in this area at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Alongside his studies he worked in sales marketing for an international sports equipment manufacturer. As a scout in professional football he developed competencies in digitalization of analogue processes, in order to make them more time- and cost-efficient.

Through successful execution of a variety of projects and further professional experience within a fit-tech start-up he has acquired a broad knowledge-base and set of skills within project management and business development.

Felix Rabe has joined the team at Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig as Manager Implementation Success.


Daniel Hong

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Daniel Hong has more than five years of experience in B2B sales. His previous work experience includes sales for a well-known Korean car manufacturer while he was part of a team at a renowned airbag and seatbelt manufacturing company.
More recently, he was a sales manager at an Adtech company, in the Google My Business industry, where he was able to further sharpen his skill set.
Daniel is now part of the solution architecture team at Area9 Lyceum based in Leipzig.


Paul Felix Hoffmann

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Paul Felix Hoffmann studied sports psychology (MSc) as well as business psychology (MSc) and has always been particularly interested in educational psychology.

During his work as a trainer in a leading DAX company he was able to train employees and executives in the field of soft skills.

During his last job as a business psychologist, he led assessments as well as individual and group coaching. Today, he also works as a lecturer at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Paul is now part of the solution architect team at Area9 Lyceum based in Leipzig.


Francisco Pelzing

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Francisco “Paco” Pelzing has 30 years of successful sales and KAM experience in various industries. Combined with 20 years of experience in the learning and training industry, he has passionately delivered training for many market leaders worldwide in four languages. He also led a global L&D team for a German DAX company for 4 years, initiating the digital training area with his team.

In addition, he started a social selling initiative with two of his employers involving 1000+ participants. He also hosts the 40-episode podcast series called „Learning with Leaders“. His passions are his family, travelling, reading and sports. At Area9 Lyceum, he is a member of the sales team and drives the distribution of Area9 Lyceum to the industry.


Torsten Meyer-Efland

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Mr. Meyer-Efland has more than 20 years of successful sales experience in the automotive industry. For a well-known German premium car manufacturer, he was responsible for the sales results in various metropolises and was instrumental in implementing the expansion strategy in the commercial segment. He has played an intensive role in the development of customer relationship management for retail.

Prior to this, he gained many years of sales and management experience in the music industry. Mr. Meyer-Efland has an excellent network in the automotive industry and maintains relevant contacts to decision makers in the German industry. At Area9 Lyceum he is a member of the sales team and drives the distribution of Area9 Lyceum in the industry.


Marcel Finke

Manager Implementation Excellence
Business Development

Dr. Marcel Finke has 16 years of experience as a university lecturer and researcher. With a PhD in art history, he worked at various universities in Germany and Austria. Most recently, he was assistant professor at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (from 2016 to 2022). His research projects have been supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the German Research Foundation, and the Austrian Science Fund, among others. He is author and co-editor of five textbooks, and has published about forty scientific papers.

In 2022, Marcel Finke joined Area9, where he is working as Manager Implementation Excellence at the Leipzig office. He brings his extensive practical experience and knowledge of the specific challenges and requirements of higher education to the work of the DACH team, in which he is particularly responsible for K20 education.


Kristin Schwierzy

Head of Partner Training and Development

Kristin Schwierzy follows the guideline to generate customer service of the highest quality and has been doing so for more than 15 years. She identifies needs and takes action to meet those needs and motivate people. Reaching milestones is both a profession and a vocation for her.

She brings extensive experience in e-commerce. The 3 main focuses of her work are quality management, qualification and leadership. She often relies on her profound knowledge as a psychologist and trainer.

Her personal benchmark is always to harmonize the successful implementation of corporate goals, competence and motivation of employees and the highest possible customer satisfaction.

Kristin Schwierzy works for Area9 Lyceum GmbH at the Leipzig location as Business Partner Implementation / Teamlead Learning Engineers.


Sophia Volz

Manager Partner Network

Sophia Anna Volz studied Tourism and Travel Management (B.A.) at the University of Applied Sciences Worms and during that time already gained experience in project and event management at a congress and conference centre in Mannheim.

During her Master’s degree in Business Psychology (M.Sc.) in Leipzig, she worked for a software company and an IT association in content-, online- and event-marketing from 2019 to 2022.

Since 2022, she has been working for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In her current position as Manager Partner Network, she is responsible for contracting, coordinating the support and enablement of partner companies.


Ann-Kathrin de Moy

Director Partner Channel Development

Ann-Kathrin’s sales career started in financial services and led her via the training business into the adult education sector.

At her last employer, she was a team leader for several years, supporting her employees in the strategic development of key accounts and managing her own key accounts.

Her expertise in sales complements her knowledge from her studies in business administration and online marketing as well as her training as a sales trainer.

At Area9 Lyceum GmbH, Ann-Kathrin has been responsible for the Partner Management team since May 2022 and supports our partners in all sales-related matters.


Solution Architecture - Asia

Deepankar Tiwari

Managing Director
India & Southeast Asia

Deepankar Tiwari, has over 24 years of experience in the Automotive / Mobility space. He spent 22 years with the Tata Group. Post acquiring his Engineering degree in Metallurgy & Material Science, in 1995, he began his career with the Tata Group joining as a management trainee with Tata Motors Limited at their commercial vehicle division. Subsequently, he joined the prestigious Tata Administrative Services (TAS) and spent a year getting experience across different operating companies of the Group, across different sectors. He spent a year at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad perusing an executive management program.

In 1999, when Tata Motors was setting-up its passenger car business, Deepankar was selected to be a part of the founding team. In this capacity, he played a key role in the introduction of some of Tata’s popular car brands including Tata Indica, Tata Indigo and Tata Safari. Thereafter, Deepankar headed the marketing, Sales and Servicing verticals for the passenger car business across geographies and also for the international markets.

Between 2005-2008, Deepankar was a key member of the team that designed, developed and launched the world’s lowest cost car, the Tata Nano. During the same  period, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and Deepankar was part of the integration team to assimilate the businesses and for initializing the JLR  operations in India. He was also part of the team which negotiated the architecture of Tata Motors – FIAT Group JV where in a JV was set up in India to produce Tata / Fiat products and retail them using the established Tata Motors retail network.

In 2012, Deepankar was drafted into the Office of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, as a Vice President to lead globally the Business Development Initiatives & Policy narrative of Tata Group, supporting the Groups Operating Companies from Tata Sons Group Centre.

In 2017, Deepankar moved to Uber Technologies Limited as the Asia-Pacific Head for Vehicle Solutions & Business Development. Here he was responsible for all external partner facing engagements, including strategic collaborations with global automotive players head-quartered out of Asia Pacific.

Based out of Delhi, Deepankar leads Area9 Lyceum’s business development efforts in India and Southeast Asia.

Personally, Deepankar has an ear for Indian classical music and is himself a Tabla (Indian percussion instrument) player. Deepankar lives in New Delhi with his wife Priyanka, who is an intellectual property and patents attorney and when not travelling, he’s learning the many uses of the internet from their 9 years old son, Shaurya.



Marijn van Cranenburgh

Managing Director

Marijn brings over a decade of experience building competencies and skills in Global Fortune 500 companies. His innovative and engaging solutions in helping large organizations navigate China’s highly unpredictable business environment were recognized with numerous awards from the local community.

While bringing easily manageable and scalable learning incentives to his clients, he believes in the advance of Adaptive Learning in organizations. He is convinced that having a private tutor for everyone through the power of AI will be the most significant evolution we’ve witnessed in education since the coming of books.

Marijn is known for always making time for his clients, as a real problem solver, he is helping his clients in a holistic method. Not only looking at solving the one problem but consistently placing it in a larger perspective, connecting it to long-term goals.

Marijn, originally from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, loves to spend time with his family and friends around the world, if you are in China, makes sure to add him on WeChat: “Marijn_vC”


Salil Sengupta

Director, Learning Solutions Architect

Salil has over 10 years experience in sales and business development roles in IT, banking, E-Learning and EdTech industries. He began his career in 2011 with an IT startup that sold Microsoft products and services. Afterwards, he joined Barclays, a leading UK-based bank as a process trainer.

In 2014, Salil joined a New Jersey E-Learning Development corporation to provide enterprise learning content solutions to global and Fortune 1000 clients in the UK and US. Then, he moved to another organization providing learning technology solutions to corporations in the EMEA and APAC regions. Over Salil’s career, he wore many hats and took various responsibilities starting from sales, inside sales, business development, account management, vendor management, strategic planning and alliances.

Salil has served IT, healthcare, pharma, restaurants, automotive, and hospitality clients globally to support them with their various learning and development or training needs. He developed a keen interest in education technology and learning more on how we can leverage technology to support various L&D functions within the corporate learning and training space. During his tenure, he met and networked with great industry leaders who helped his learning.

In his leisure time, Salil likes to travel and meet new people. He is passionate about learning new languages, photography, and psychology.


Sumedha Chhabra

Implementation Excellence

Sumedha is an Implementation Manager with extensive account management experience within global markets.
Having worked with a diverse set of clients globally for several years, Sumedha has helped them devise various digital strategies through SAAS platforms and supported them by understanding their requirements, use cases and pain points. She has a sterling command over various Market Intelligence tools and platforms, gaining around5+ years of erudite experience in the same.

She is now an Implementation Manager at Area9 Lyceum for the APAC region and operates out of Hong Kong. She helps in providing truly personalized solutions to the clients based on their requirements and pain points. Hence providing techno-functional support to the customers. She also works closely with the team of learning engineers, to ensure the qualitative deliverables and customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning technology.

Interested in Learning More?
“In health care, accurate knowledge is crucial for an effective sales team. Adaptive learning ensures our team builds the knowledge and confidence they need, in the most optimal way.”
Kristian Villumsen
President & CEO, Colopast