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Executive Leadership

ULRIK JUUL CHRISTENSEN

Chief Executive Officer,
Area9 Group

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.

He is also the chairman of Altus Care (precision patient compliance software platform), and in 2017, Dr. Christensen was appointed expert-in-residence at the translational accelerator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Christensen is on the boards of LEAP Innovation and Mastery Transcript Consortium. He is also on the advisory board for Transcend Education, CharacterLab, Center for Curriculum Redesign at Harvard University and is the co-chair of the advisory board in emergency medicine at Brigham and Womens hospital in Boston.


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KHURRAM JAMIL

President, Strategic Initiatives
Area9 Group

After earning his medical degree at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational software at Sophus Laerdal — first with Combat Medic Training for the U.S. Department of Defense, and then with revolutionary simulators for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS). He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, culminating with the sale of Area9’s educational business to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014. Over his 18 years of entrepreneurial experience he has lead dozens of teams of medical professionals and educational scientists, led large business development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million dollar software development projects.

Dr. Jamil heads strategic initiatives including regional expansions, joint-ventures and partnerships. He oversees Area9’s diverse content development team creating materials at all levels of education, together with our growing list of partners that represent some of the world’s strongest brands dominating their respective sectors.

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and involved in various cultural & art organizations to support building more creative and reflective companies and societies.


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ASGER ALSTRUP PALM

Chief Technology Officer, Area9 Group
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.


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TOMMY OLESEN

Executive Vice President,
Core of 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.


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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.


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NIELS VILDBRAD

Chief Operating Officer
Chief of Staff

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 Boston, MA.


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NICK HOWE

Chief Learning Officer

Nick Howe is an award winning Chief Learning Officer and business leader.
He is the Chief Learning Officer at Area9 Lyceum, the global leader in micro-adaptive learning technology, a strategic advisor to the Institute of Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida, and board advisor to multiple EdTech startups.

For twelve years Nick was the Chief Learning Officer at Hitachi Data Systems where he built and led the corporate university and online communities serving over 50,000 employees, resellers and customers.

With over 25 years’ global sales, sales enablement, delivery and consulting experience with Hitachi, EDS Corporation and Bechtel Inc., Nick is passionate about the transformation of customer experiences, partner relationships and employee performance through learning and collaboration.

He received his Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.


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CLAUS BIERMANN, MD MPH

Executive Vice President,
Global Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s EVP, Global Healthcare Education. He leads all our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also leads 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.


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RICHARD KEAVENY

Chief Product Officer

Richard is the Chief Product Officer at Area9 Lyceum, and is responsible for product vision, product strategy, product design, and the delivery of customer centric digital solutions to improve peoples’ lives through education.

Richard is an award winning, market facing visionary for innovative educational products and services. With more than 20 years of software experience in innovative technology for Higher Education, K12 and lifelong learning, Richard has held positions in global technology product development and management encompassing design, product delivery, sales, business development, Mergers/Acquisitions and implementation at McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, and Cengage (Thomson). Richard was head of digital strategy for McGraw-Hill Higher Education, and led the company’s transition to adaptive technologies based on the Area9 technologies and platforms. Richard was also part of two education start-ups, both being acquired by global learning companies and he also spearheaded a start-up team within Pearson that was funded by the Pearson CEO.

Richard received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.


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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.

 


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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.


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Product and Content

VLADIMIR UFNAROVSKY

Chief Information Officer


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MADS DIERMAYR

Vice President,
Product Management

As the Vice President of Product Management at Area9 Lyceum, Mads is responsible for bringing development teams and the product vision together. His 14 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, you can find Laerdal Medical’s HeartCode®, RQI2020® and McGraw-Hill Education’s LearnSmart® Adaptive Learning Suite . With Area9 Lyceum’s Rhapsode added to the list! He brings extensive international experience ranging from product and project management, to development, as well as team leading, QA and customer service. Mads core beliefs are having an agile mindset and doing what it takes to get things done


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JAN KROGH LARSEN

Vice President,
Publishing Systems

Jan Krogh Larsen is a senior leader in the publishing and EdTech industry on both company level and nationally. He holds a Master’s Degree from University of Copenhagen 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. With full responsibility for Egmont’s high school publishing house (edition, sales, marketing, organizational development, innovation, strategy, …) 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 new publishing and educational platform from Area9 Lyceum. His key areas also include commercialization and partnerships in the EMEA region as well as high profile educational products in the Nordics and select regions globally.


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Michael Lemke

Vice President,
Learning Architecture

Michael is the Vice President of Learning Architecture at Area9 Lyceum and is responsible for content creation, quality, and structure.With over 10 years of experience studying and developing award winning learning technologies and world-class content, Michael has brought to market products that span the entire K-20 spectrum. While at Pearson, he managed the technology creation of Pearson’s market leading K-8 math programs. Most recently, while at McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Michael was responsible for the technology strategy leading a team of product managers which represented all disciplines and platforms. Michael holds a dual B.S. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Northern Michigan University and is currently attending Northwestern University to receive a M.S. Data Science.


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Business Dev. North America

JOE BARROW

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

Joe is a strategic leader across both academia and the professional marketplace. Over the past 20 years, Joe has focused on the impact of learning technologies, both on the organization and the individual learner.

Joe has a keen sense of extracting the greatest value from a technology in the most, clear and succinct manner. This becomes important when the impact of technology must be a contribution to the process and not a limiter.

Joe has been a senior leader at several learning companies including The Learning Edge, a Tasmania based content management startup that was later acquired by Pearson.

Joe spent five + years at the DC based, platform/technology company Blackboard during its meteoric growth from 2002 – 2007. Joe most recently joined Area9 from Amazon Web Services education team. Joe continues to explore new ways to skill/re-skill a workforce in a way that most effectively provides the outcomes an organization is looking to achieve.

Improving the learning process and linking retained skills to company objectives is Joe’s key area of focus at Area9.


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KELLY M. MCCREADY

Vice President,
Business Development

Kelly has been working in the education space for 10 years in the fields of medical education, higher education and technology. Her focus has been designing, delivering, and promoting learning programs that prompt progress through non-traditional education paths.

Kelly joined Area9 to bring this expertise to companies who want to make their training initiatives more effective and more impactful – both for their employees and their business. She has a strong belief that the ROI needs to be apparent to both parties in order to be successful. Kelly’s prior experience using, creating and selling adaptive technology allowed her to recognize the superiority of the Area9 biological adaptive model and the cost and time savings it brings to businesses and learners.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA in International Business from European University in Munich, Germany.


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ERIC KUENNEN

Vice President,
Business Development

Kuennen joins Area9 Lyceum from VitalSource an Ingram Content Group Company, where he most recently led the Sales & Customer Success teams that provided SaaS to corporations and professional organizations. Prior to that he held numerous roles during his time at Pearson, including oversight for corporate, association, government, EQUELLA, for-profit schools and third-party partnerships. Additionally, Eric has worked for industry-leading companies Cengage Learning, Course Technology and Follett in the K-12, higher education, library and continuing education sectors.


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PETER VAN TIENEN

Vice President,
Business Development

Peter van TienenPeter has been working in the educational technology space for over 28 years now. Starting at Seneca College he was an early pioneer in the use of technology to support learning and led a team in putting courses online back in the early 90’s. “It was interesting, we still had to schedule a physical room for an online course because our SIS couldn’t handle online.” He travelled the globe for Seneca helping institutions adopt and deploy educational technology.Peter has a keen ability to explain technology in simple terms and help institutions grow its adoption in a large scale. He as a co-author of the Academic Technology Framework. A model to help institutions plan and adopt educational technologies.Peter spent 6 years at a young start-up called Blackboard working with institution to integrate, customize and deploy large scale implementations. He helped grow adoption in early international markets and worked closely with the product teams on product strategy.

Peter has been a senior leader at several learning companies including The Learning Edge, a Tasmania based content management startup that was later acquired by Pearson. He was the General Manager of North America and a key member in the product strategy of EQUELLA, an award winning content repository managing millions of assets around the world today.Peter most recently joined Area9 from his own consulting company, where he helped Pearson open source the EQUELLA platform.Helping organizations maximize their staff development and skills mastery is Peter’s key area of focus at Area9.


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Josh Collins

Director,
Client Success

Josh has 13+ years working in education publishing and ed tech. He joined Area9 Lyceum in June 2018 from Vitalsource. Prior to Vitalsource, he had roles at Pearson Education and Cengage Learning, where he focused on business development, technology training and implementation, and the development of custom projects in for higher education institutions across the U.S. Josh received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, previously worked with the Atlanta Braves, and makes his home just north of Atlanta, Georgia.


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John Harper

Manager,
Partnerships and New Ventures

John has nearly fifteen years working in education publishing and ed tech. He joined Area9 Lyceum in 2018 from Pearson Education, where he managed and grew key accounts in the corporate, association and government sectors. Prior to that, he had roles at Cengage Learning, Thomson Learning and LexisNexis where he focused on business development, digital consulting and custom media project management in higher education markets. While at Cengage, he helped manage and grow early versions of adaptive and personalized learning products. John received a bachelor’s degree from the Virginia Military Institute, and makes his home near Cincinnati, Ohio.


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Business Dev. EMEA

JENS HORNEMAN

Senior Vice President,
Business Development


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PHILIP H. FREDERIKSEN

Vice President, Business Development
Scandinavia

Philip has more than 20 years of experience in Marketing and Sales. He has represented premium brands in more than 25 countries before he joined the executive team at Carlsberg. Philip and his team was responsible for creating, planning & executing global campaigns like EURO 2000/2004, MTV Music Awards & Scandinavian Masters by Carlsberg – all award winning campaigns across multiple channels & markets.

The last 13 years Philip has been a strategic consultant to global brands like Ericsson, Microsoft, Bonnier, TeliaCompany before joining the Area9 team.

Philip started up Area9 Sweden in 2016 and has since then initiated several strategic partnerships within Retail, Anti-Corruption, Sales, Leadership, Diversity, Hospitality and more.


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NICK KIND

Executive Advisor

Nick Kind graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in English in 1994. His career began with 18 years of developing educational software, including co-founding a venture-backed “dot-com” in 1999, alongside extensive work with the BBC and major publishers. Nick then worked for four years as Head of Business Insights for the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, one of the world’s largest media organizations. Reporting to the holding company board, his role covered thought leadership, market intelligence and internal strategy projects across education, scientific research and consumer publishing.

Based in the U.K., Nick works across the Area9 Group on strategy and corporate development, and manages a range of key learning relationships in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


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Hania Baramki

Director,
Area9 Lyceum MENA


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Khaled Al Kaff

Relationship Manager, MENA


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