Duolingo Appoints Jim Shelton to Board


Jim Shelton

Duolingo, the world's #1 language-learning platform, today announced that education innovator and former Deputy Secretary of Education Jim Shelton joined its Board of Directors.

Shelton has spent much of his 30-year career leading philanthropic, social impact, and education-focused initiatives within both the public and private sectors. He spent close to six years as Program Director of Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he managed a $3 billion portfolio of non-profit investments targeting high school and college graduation rates. Shelton then served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration before returning to the private sector and becoming President and Chief Impact Officer of education technology company 2U. He went on to become President of Education for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he was responsible for spearheading partnerships with educators, communities, researchers, and engineers. He is currently Chief Investment and Impact Officer for Blue Meridian Partners, a philanthropic vehicle for finding and funding scalable solutions to problems that trap young people and families in poverty in the U.S.

"It's been incredible to watch Duolingo grow from its roots on the campus of Carnegie Mellon to a successful company that walks its talk when it comes to access, equity, and producing demonstrable learning outcomes," said Shelton. "Through its commitment to making engaging and effective learning experiences available to everyone, Duolingo has proven to be an inspiring blueprint for the future of education technology."

"I view economic inequality as one of the world's most pressing problems and believe that education has a vital role to play in leveling the playing field," said Luis von Ahn, CEO and co-founder of Duolingo. "Jim brings a wealth of expertise and leadership in advancing social impact through an educational lens, and we are incredibly fortunate to have him join our Board of Directors as we continue to scale high-quality education and make it available to everyone."

In June, Duolingo announced that veteran tech executives Sara Clemens and Amy Bohutinsky have joined its board. Shelton's appointment brings Duolingo's total board membership to nine.

With more than 300 million total learners, Duolingo is the largest language-learning platform and most downloaded education app worldwide. Learners can choose from 97 total courses across nearly 40 distinct languages. The company also created the Duolingo English Test, an online English proficiency exam used for admissions at over 2,500 of the world's leading educational institutions. Valued at more than $1.5 billion, Duolingo is the top-grossing education app worldwide.

About Duolingo

Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app worldwide, with more than 300 million total learners. The company's mission is to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available. Duolingo offers 97 total courses across nearly 40 distinct languages, and is available on iOS, Android, and Web at www.duolingo.com. Valued at more than $1.5 billion, the company has raised more than $148 million in venture capital from investors including CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Drive Capital, General Atlantic, Ashton Kutcher, and Tim Ferriss.

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