Newsela Executive Leadership Team

Matthew Gross

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Matthew Gross

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Matthew Gross has led the growth of Newsela from inception to over 500 employees and over 40 million registered teachers and students. He has a twenty-five-year career in education policy and practice, nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurship, and product development and distribution. Previously, Matthew was Executive Director of the Regents Research Fund, a privately funded affiliate of the New York State Board of Regents and Education Department that helped lead the implementation of Race to the Top-driven education reforms. He began his career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching music at C.S. 50 in the South Bronx. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University. --- Matthew’s favorite subject in school: U.S. History

Dan Cogan-Drew

Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer

Dan Cogan-Drew

Co-founder and Chief Academic Officer

Dan Cogan-Drew is Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer at Newsela where he leads the delivery of learning insights that power improvements in student outcomes by Newsela's products and services. Dan was previously the founding Director of Digital Learning at Achievement First Public Charter Schools, where he spearheaded the integration of digital learning technologies across twenty-two schools, including flipped classrooms, mobile learning, and 1:1 computing. He began his education career in Teach for America and went on to teach in public and private schools, as well as in the US Navy. He holds degrees from Wesleyan University, Brown University, and Tufts University. --- Dan’s favorite subject in school: creative writing

Jennifer Coogan

Chief Content Officer

Jennifer Coogan

Chief Content Officer

Jennifer Coogan is Chief Content Officer at Newsela where she oversees the development of articles, media and instructional materials for students and teachers. In 2013, she helped launch the first iterations of Newsela’s platform. She’s worked under the tightest deadlines as a reporter for Bloomberg and Reuters, specializing in finance and economics. She later worked as a content marketing consultant for a number of companies including Fidelity, Intuit, American Express, and Citibank. She volunteered for the India Literacy Project, establishing a lending-library for area elementary schools in Hyderabad. Jennifer has an M.A. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. from Wellesley College. --- Jenny’s favorite subject in school: History and French

Chris Mezzatesta

Chief Customer Officer

Chris Mezzatesta

Chief Customer Officer

Chris Mezzatesta is responsible for ensuring Newsela is in as many classrooms as possible. He leads Newsela’s Customer team, which spans sales, sales operations, business development, learning and enablement, curricular solutions, and customer success. With over 30 years of experience, he has led startups, hyper-growth companies, and public companies to successful exits and unicorn valuations. Chris brings his unique combination of strategic leadership, team building, motivational coaching, mentoring skills, and achieving growth and retention targets to each business he grows. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maryland and an MBA in Strategic Management from Pace University - Lubin School of Business. --- Chris’s favorite subject in school: P.E./Gym

Derrick Ware

Chief Technology Officer

Derrick Ware

Chief Technology Officer

Derrick Ware is Chief Technology Officer at Newsela where he leads a team of Software Engineering, IT, InfoSec, Data and Project Management professionals. He is an accomplished technology leader who has solved tech problems at a variety of large SaaS and B2B tech companies. Derrick develops impactful strategies by focusing on delivering key outcomes, building amazing teams, and quickly adapting to new learnings. He is data driven and excels at the execution of big ideas with given constraints. Derrick was an F-15E “Strike Eagle” crew chief in the United States Air Force, and subsequently spent several years working on hardware and software solutions at IBM. --- Derrick’s favorite subject in school: Math

Gloria Lee

General Counsel and Interim Chief People Officer

Gloria Lee

General Counsel and Interim Chief People Officer

Gloria Lee is responsible for overseeing Newsela’s global legal, compliance, and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Newsela, Gloria held leadership positions at Google, Fitbit, and McKesson, with a significant track record of advising on complex and novel legal matters. Earlier in her career, Gloria was a trial lawyer with the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, an attorney with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, and a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois. Gloria received her B.A. with Honors from Swarthmore College and her J.D. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. --- Gloria’s favorite subject in school: History

Adriel Sanchez

Chief Marketing Officer

Adriel Sanchez

Chief Marketing Officer

Adriel Sanchez is responsible for bringing Newsela’s mission, message and products to market. He is an accomplished marketing leader with demonstrable success across a number of industries and geographies. He’s unapologetically data-driven, but prides himself on pragmatism and balancing the science and art of marketing. This combination has enabled him to build and scale a variety of marketing functions at Citibank, SAP, and most recently, Commvault – a leader in the enterprise data protection space. Adriel was born to Cuban immigrants and raised in Queens, New York, where he still resides today. He has a marketing degree from Baruch College, City University of New York. --- Adriel’s favorite subject in school: Social Studies

Jennifer Ruth

Chief Customer Success Officer

Jennifer Ruth

Chief Customer Success Officer

Jennifer Ruth is responsible for ensuring customers achieve value through their investment in Newsela. She leads Customer Success, which include Professional Development, Support and Integrations and Customer Success Management. She brings deep customer success expertise in SaaS and B2B companies including Adobe and American Express. Passionate about the customer experience, Jennifer understands buyer personas and the processes required to make customers wildly successful. Prior to joining Newsela, Jennifer served as the VP, Customer Success at Optimizely. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from Washington University in St. Louis and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho. --- Jennifer’s favorite subject in school: English

Igor Beckerman

Chief Financial Officer

Igor Beckerman

Chief Financial Officer

Igor Beckerman is responsible for all finance, accounting, corporate strategy and corporate development functions at Newsela. With twenty-five years of tech industry experience, he combines strong finance expertise, a strategic and business mindset, and strong experience in scaling software businesses. Prior to Newsela, Igor was CFO at Gainsight, where he helped to grow the company 5x and assisted in coordinating the sale of the company to Vista Equity Partners. Previously, he held leadership roles at Marketo and Precise Software and began his career in investment banking. Igor holds an MBA from Stanford Business School, and a BA in quantitative economics from UC Berkeley. --- Igor’s favorite subject in school: Social Studies