Pioneering educators and industry leaders

We're governed by path-breaking leaders, expert councils and global advisory boards.

Our promise

As we’re an independent university, we answer directly to our mission. To enable greater social and economic mobility across the world by providing learners access to high-quality, affordable, dynamic education; preparing them for the global workplace.

Meet our Board of directors

Our directors oversee strategic planning and new initiatives, monitor finances, and support and evaluate finances. Each one is an industry expert; collectively, they have managed and taught at universities in more than 15 countries.

Board of directors

  • Dr. Peter Stokes

    Managing Director, Huron Consulting Group

    Peter is a Managing Director in Huron’s Education and Life Sciences Strategy & Operations group, focusing on strategic planning and student success.

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    Over a 20-year career, he has worked with senior leaders at diverse public and private institutions across the US as they have sought to reach new audiences, develop innovative curricular models at undergraduate and graduate levels, support graduates' work readiness, and engage more meaningfully with their alumni and employer partners. Before joining Huron, Peter was Vice President for Global Strategy and Business Development at Northeastern University. He is the author of Higher Education and Employability: New Models for Integrating Study and Work (Harvard Education Press, 2015) and a contributor to Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation (Harvard Education Press, 2011, edited by Wildavsky, Kelly, and Carey), among other publications. Peter has a PhD in English literature from Stony Brook University.

  • Dr. Phillip Long

    Chief Innovation Officer, University of Texas

    Dr Long works part-time as the Chief Innovation Officer at UT Austin, working on Project 2021, and as Associate Vice Provost at the University of Texas at Austin.

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    Dr Long offers guidance to the university’s strategy for technology-enhanced learning, advice on online learning including edX MOOCs, learning analytics, application of blockchains to education and the design of learning environments. Dr Long spent 8 years as a Senior Strategist for Academic Technology at MIT. He is also a clinical professor in Educational Psychology and in the School of Information. Long earned his undergraduate degree in psychobiology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his PhD from Pennsylvania State University.

  • Dr. Sherif Kamel

    President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Egypt

    Dr Kamel is the Dean of Business School at The American University in Cairo. Before joining AUC, he served as director of the Regional IT Institute and managed the training department of the Cabinet of Egypt Information and Decision Support Center.

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    He was a guest lecturer, and taught degree and non-degree programs for Middlesex University, Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), Maastricht School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), Carlton University, University of Ottawa and McMaster University. Kamel holds a PhD in information systems from London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also an Eisenhower Fellow and a Center for Global Enterprise Fellow. He is a member of the AACSB International Middle East Advisory Council and Eduniversal International Scientific Committee. He was a member of the World Bank Knowledge Advisory Commission and founding member of the Internet Society of Egypt.

  • Lou Pugliese

    Former CEO, Blackboard; former Managing Director, Technology Innovation Action Lab, ASU

    Lou Pugliese is an innovator, thought leader, and successful venture-growth entrepreneur with a life-long passion to seek and engage new ways to disrupt, displace and advance business models.

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    His career spans two decades working with founders to re-engineer, restructure, and rethink strategy to accelerate growth and effectively address new competitive realities. As a successful change lever, Lou’s deep experience has resulted in effective transitions with business leaders faced with making meaningful changes their growth opportunity enterprises.

  • Fadl Al Tarzi

    Chief Executive Officer

    Known for having a unique vision

    Fadl founded Nexford University in 2018, with a vision to enable greater social and economic mobility through high-quality, affordable education. His vision stemmed from years of doing business in more than 10 emerging markets, where he witnessed how lack of access to affordable, high-quality education impacts societies across the world.

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    Fadl became an entrepreneur at 18, and has accumulated 17 years’ experience founding digital marketing startups and SaaS, leading award winning digital engagement strategies and leading digital transformations. Cumulatively, his startups have raised over $10 million in growth capital and employ more than 500 people globally. Under News Group International, he launched and grew SOCIALEYEZ from two to more than 120 people globally. He has worked with Fortune 500s, global consumer brands such as Starbucks, and governments in the US, Europe and MENA regions. Fadl has lived in Cairo, Paris, Washington DC, Dubai and London. He holds a BBA from the American University in Cairo and management degrees from George Washington and Middlesex Universities.

Meet our Global advisory board

A diverse group of academic and industry experts from reputed institutions, including Harvard, Boston University and Babson. Decades of experience combine to bring you one best-in-class education experience that bridges the gap between what we teach and what employers needs and helps learners succeed.

Global advisory board

  • Dr. Curtis Bonk

    Professor of Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University

    Dr Bonk has been a long-standing professor at Indiana University, teaching psychology and technology courses and President of CourseShare.

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    Drawing on his background as a corporate controller, CPA, educational psychologist, and instructional technologist, Bonk offers unique insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology, and technology in his blog, TravelinEdMan. He has received various university, state, national, and international recognition for his distance education innovations in teaching as well as his online and blended learning research and service. Dr Bonk has spoken in dozens of countries around the world and authored several books exploring global and societal aspects of emerging learning technologies including The World Is Open and MOOCs and Open Education Around the World. From 2012 to 2017, Bonk has been annually named by Education Next and listed in Education Week among the top contributors to the public debate about education from more than 20,000 university-based academics.

  • Dr. Jay A Halfond

    Professor of the Practice of Continuing Education and Distance Education, Boston University

    Dr Halfond has worked at Boston University since 1997, was dean of Metropolitan College from 2001 to 2012, and now serves as a full Professor of the Practice.

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    Previously, he served as associate dean of Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration and held various administrative positions at Harvard University. Halfond has published over two hundred articles, including regular contributions to the New England Journal of Higher Education and Huffington Post. In addition to over seventy presentations at professional conferences, Halfond teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels on social and ethical aspects of management and in American institutions and culture. He also chaired the Boston University President’s Council for a Global University. He is currently a Research Fellow at Bentley University’s Center for Business Ethics and was the first Wiley Senior Faculty Fellow and Senior Fellow at the Center for Online Leadership and Strategy. He holds a secondary appointment in BU’s School of Education, where he teaches courses in the Higher Education Program. Dr Halfond holds a PhD from Boston College, an MA from Brandeis University and a BA from Temple University.

  • Dr. Frances Tsakonas

    Chief Executive Officer, International Institute for Education Advancement (a division of RITE Education Associates)

    Frances Tsakonas is an ‘edupreneur’ who was born and raised in Australia; she is a graduate of Harvard University, Graduate School of Education where she undertook advanced Post-Masters studies in teaching, curriculum and learning environments.

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    Frances has pursued an array of degrees at Oxford and HEC Paris, among others, in learning-related programs, including consulting, education change, strategy and innovation. Dr Tsakonas has worked at all levels of public and private education and training for more than 40 years. From 1994 to 2004, Dr Tsakonas served as Special Advisor for Education to the Hellenic Minister of Education and Hellenic Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Papandreou, to assist him in efforts to reform the education system of Greece. Dr Tsakonas has in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in global education/training trends and developments. She has worked for over 20 years as an independent consultant, developing her academic, research and commercialization skills, through many years of negotiating cross-border and cross-cultural higher education institutional and programmatic partnerships and collaborations.

  • Dr. Valerie Gamble

    Education and Performance Enhancement Lead, Pfizer

    Dr. Valerie Gamble has an academic background in educational leadership and change, organizational consulting and adult education from Fielding Graduate University.

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    During her 23 years in the regulated pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer, she has developed her experience in learning strategy development, executive coaching and a customer-centered approach to learning and performance improvement. Since 2006, she has led an Education and Performance Enhancement role at Pfizer, whereby she provides organizational coaching services to colleagues, develops measurable learning strategies and designs/executes programs encouraging talent development. Gamble has spearheaded partnerships to support the implementation of education programs reflective of her needs-based objective. As Global Strategic Initiatives Lead since 2016, she has provided expertise and leadership in the areas of strategic planning, continuous improvement and workforce development. She was able to drive critical change management activities and behavioral changes needed to successfully deliver projects and initiatives.

  • Dr. Oby Ezekwesili

    Founder, Transparency International

    Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili is a former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, a former Nigerian Education Minister and co-founder of Transparency International.

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    A chartered accountant by profession, ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili first served the Nigerian government as Head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, where she led reforms to public procurement. She was appointed Minister of Solid Minerals in 2005 and chaired the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. In 2006 she became Minister of Education, until taking up her World Bank post in 2007. Prior to working for the Government of Nigeria, Dr Ezekwesili was at the Center for International Development at Harvard University. Having co-founded the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International, she directed its work in Africa. She is also a Senior Economic Advisor to Open Society, which aims to build vibrant and tolerant societies with democratically accountable governments. Dr Ezekwesili holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta in 2012.

Meet our Curriculum advisory panel

An international group of academic and business experts who provide insights on emerging trends in education, evolving workplace needs, and assessment standards. They play a vital role in shaping Nexford’s strategic plan and developing curriculum.

Curriculum advisory panel

  • Dr. Wesam Alanqar

    Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer

    Emirates College of Technology

  • Dr. Rhonda Ellis

    Consultant for healthcare and emergency medical service organizations

  • Jonathan Friedman

    Technology Consultant

    Full Product Management and Development Cycle

  • Professor Farhoud Kafi

    Former Managing Director of E-Learning

    President of Babson Global

  • Dr Charlotte Lofton

    Head Global Sales and Business Development Team Learning and Effectiveness

    Harris IT Services

  • Dr Anne P Massey

    Professor of Information Systems

    Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Kevin Neaves

    Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Information Officer for Engineering

    Naval Sea Systems Command

  • Dr Gdadebo O A Odularu

    Consultant for Economic Development Strategy and Agricultural Economics

  • Jill Rosenberg

    Technology and Media Consultant

  • John Saydam

    Former Head of Social Media at Emirates Airlines

    Former Digital Marketing Manager at Blackberry

  • Dr George Timmons

    Former Dean School of Liberal Arts

    Excelsior College

  • Marcus Collins

    Chief Consumer Connections Officer at Doner

  • George Xia Zhaohong

    Expert in Human Resources and Business

    People's Republic of China

  • Rob van Alphen

    Social Media Marketing Expert

    Founder, School of Disruption, Singapore