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Foundation Board

The Sakai Foundation Board provides oversight of the Sakai Foundation.

The Sakai Foundation Board is elected by members of the Sakai Foundation. Each Board member serves a three-year term and may be re-elected to serve a second term.

The current Board is comprised of higher education technology leaders, esteemed faculty members, accomplished software architects and developers, and commercial leaders.




Sakai Foundation Board of Directors
David Ackerman

David Ackerman, New York University - Board Chair

Dr. David Ackerman currently serves New York University in a dual appointment as Associate Vice President for .edu Services and Executive Director for Digital Library Technology Services. He oversees academic and shared computing services in Information Technology Services and the Digital Library Services in NYU Libraries. David has been at NYU for more than 20 years. During that time, he has also served as technology consultant to the Soros Foundations, Expert on Mission to the United Nations, and the Founding Chairman of the Board of the New York chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-NY). David currently represents NYU on the Sakai OAE Project Council.

Josh Baron, Marist College

As Director of Academic Technology and eLearning at Marist College, Josh Baron is responsible for supporting a wide range of instructional technology initiatives, including distance learning, faculty training, and student support. He also plays a leadership role in strategic planning for the College in areas of academic and information technology. Before coming to Marist, Josh was the associate director of instructional technology at Stevens Institute of Technology. In this capacity, he helped lead a $10 million U.S. Department of Education technology initiative working both at the K-12 and college level. He was also a member for the Stevens WebCampus initiative and developed one of the first Stevens online graduate courses. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and holds a Master of Arts degree (online) in Educational Technology Leadership form George Washington University. - Board term ends Dec 2010, Board Chair term ends Dec 2013
Steven Swinsburg

Steve Swinsburg, Australian National University

Steve is a Software Engineer at the Australian National University. He holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology, majoring in Web and Internet Technologies and a Bachelor of Science Degree. He also has several years of tertiary teaching experience.

Steve has been involved with Sakai since 2006, he is an active member of both the Sakai and Jasig communities and is a committer on both the Sakai CLE and uPortal projects. Steve is the lead for several core tools within the Sakai CLE, actively contributes to the various mailing lists for both Sakai and Jasig, and assists other developers within both communities. In 2009, Steve was selected as a Sakai Fellow.

Steve is a member of the Sakai 2 Technical Coordination Committee, the Maintenance Team, the Kernel Team, the Security Working Group and the Jasig Incubation Committee.

Steve has written over a dozen articles on Sakai best practices and how-to's and regularly blogs about new developments in the Sakai and Jasig communities. In 2008, he had a paper on Sakai in distance education published in the Australian Ascilite journal, and in 2011 he contributed to the Sakai CLE Courseware Management book.

Seth Theriault

Seth Theriault, Columbia University

Seth works on research, teaching, and learning systems at Columbia University and was the original technical lead for its Sakai CLE deployment. He has been active in the Sakai community since early 2005, was named an inaugural Sakai Fellow in 2006, and is a member and past chair of the Sakai CLE Technical Coordination Committee.

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Dr. Ian Boston, University of Cambridge

Dr. Ian Boston from the University of Cambridge, UK, has been involved in Sakai from the early days. He was responsible for early Sakai tools including RWiki and Search. He took responsibility for the Portal and Kernel in Sakai 2.x and latterly is the re-implementation of Sakai 3.

Ian has a background in mechanical engineering and parallel computing. First degree being in Engineering Design and Manufacture. He holds a PhD in parallel computing and engineering stress analysis. Following his PhD he joined Professor Tony Hey’s group at the University of Southampton to lead research projects in High Performance Computing. In the mid 1990’s he became interested in the startup activity in Silicon Fen around Cambridge and became actively involved in startup companies, sitting on a number of Boards as investor representative and technical innovator. One of those board positions became full time and he became CTO of Procession plc a London based Software House supporting enterprise processes in large organizations world wide. With arrival of a family he joined Caret at the University of Cambridge as CTO, although he still maintains an active involvement in some of the earlier startups.

Ian is an overseas member of the Australian Computer Society, a committer and PMC member at the Apache Software Foundation with the Apache Sling and Apache Shindig projects. In his spare time he enjoys offshore sailing, windsurfing and surfing. - Board term ends Dec 2012

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Michael Feldstein, MindTap MindApps at Cengage Learning

Michael Feldstein is author of the e-Literate weblog and Senior Program Manager for MindTap MindApps at Cengage Learning. Prior to working at Cengage, he was Principal Product Manager for Academic Enterprise Solutions at Oracle Corporation. Before he worked at Oracle, Michael was an Assistant Director at the SUNY Learning Network, where he oversaw blended learning faculty development and was part of the leadership team for the LMS platform migration efforts of this 40-campus program. Prior to that, he was co-founder and CIO of MindWires, a company that provided e-learning and knowledge management products and services to Fortune 500 corporations, with a special emphasis on software simulations. He has also been the interim CLO at The Otter Group, a Senior Partner at Christensen/Roberts Solutions, and a Senior Instructional Designer at Raymond Karsan Associates. In prior lives, Michael has been a freelance writer, an English PhD student, a middle school and high school teacher, a tire wrangler at a Yokohama Tire warehouse, and a professional loafer at Schooley’s Mountain County Park.

Michael was a very early participant in Open Source Learning Management Systems projects, having been one of the early participants (and the only non-technologist participant at the time) of the OpenACS community in early 2000—the community that would eventually spawn the GPL-licensed dotLRN Learning Management System. He is currently a member of Sakai’s Product Council and regularly presents at Sakai conferences.

Michael has been a member of eLearn Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board and is currently a participant in the IMS as a member of its Learning Technology Advisory Council (LTAC). He is a frequent invited speaker on a range of e-learning-related topics including e-learning usability, LMS evaluation methods, e-learning interoperability stnadards, ePortfolios, and edupatents for organizations ranging from the eLearning Guild to the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council. He has been interviewed as an e-learning expert by a variety of media outlets, including The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Associated Press, and U.S. News and World Report. - Board term ends Dec 2012

Chuck Severence, University of Michigan

"I have been involved in Sakai from the beginning as the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project and later the first Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation. More recently I have had the opportunity to go back into the classroom as a full-time faculty member in the University of Michigan School of Information where I use Sakai on a daily basis. I teach courses in Technology Literacy, Web Site Development, and Social Computing. I work closely with graduate students in the School of Informatics and talented undergraduates in the Informatics concentration.  In addition to teaching, I work as a consultant with the IMS Global Learning Consortium where I help in the development, promotion, and dissemination of existing and emerging standards for the portability and interoperability of both data and software. I have spent the last two years refining and improving standards such as Learning Tools Interoperability, Common Cartridge, and Learner Information Services.  I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Etudes non-profit corporation which contributes Melete, JForum, and Mneme to the Sakai community.

I continue to contribute technically to the Sakai product as a committer.  I tend to focus my technical efforts on Melete, the Sakai portal, the E-Mail Archive tool, and the upcoming IMS Basic LTI tool for the 2.7 release. While I no longer work full-time on Sakai, having summers off allows me some flexibility in doing technical work on Sakai.  In addition, I recently completed a new Sakai tool that enables instructors to establish simple navigational connections between sites, allowing them to construct simple hierarchies of Sakai sites.

I have also written a book on "Using the Google Application Engine", published in 2009 by O'Reilly and Associates. This compliments my previous book on "High Performance Computing", also from O'Reilly and Associates, published in 1998.

My research focus is the application of technology to teaching and learning. I am exploring how Open Educational Resources (OER) can be best re-used and remixed in new educational contexts. My research has developed a simple, embeddable Collaboration and Learning Management System, using JavaScript which is called CloudSocial (  My interest in OER has lead me to work with the Rice University Connexions project ( - I am writing my next text book titled, "Technology Literacy" using Connexions and it will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution license and my students will be able to get a printed copy of the book for less than ten dollars.  The book will be an experiment in open content and knowledge creation by bringing in my students as co-authors - so they not only use the book during a semester, but they also improve the book for the next semester.

You are welcome to find out more about me by looking at my personal web site - . You can find out about the software I have written over the years, online copies of my television programs from the mid-1990's, and my blog posts for the past six years. If you look closely, you can even see me riding a dirt bike, playing hockey, singing the blues, and driving a stock car". - Board term ends Dec 2012

Nate Angell

Nate Angell, rSmart

Nate has been a part of the Sakai and Open Source Portfolio (OSP) communities since 2005, currently as Client Evangelist at rSmart, and before as Director for Web Communications at Portland State University. Nate works with institutions of every size and shape all over the world that are using, adopting, or evaluating Sakai, helping them support their teaching and learning, collaboration, and portfolio projects, evolve new technologies and services, and spread open source solutions to their peers and neighbors.

Nate currently serves on the Sakai Product Council, the community body that stewards Sakai's overall product roadmap, coherence, and quality, and is an active collaborator for the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award (TWSIA), which captures and showcases innovative teaching and learning practices that use Sakai. Nate's strong interest and experience in pedagogy and portfolios often lead him to collaborate with the Sakai community's Teaching & Learning and Portfolio groups. Nate draws on his experience with other open communities to support Sakai projects like the new website, the website, and hackathon/working sessions at the 2009 and 2010 Sakai conferences.

An active speaker, thought-leader, and open education/technology evangelist, Nate presents widely and participates actively in social media, making connections between, people, ideas, and technologies. Before turning to educational technology, Nate studied, taught, and researched topics in film, television, and digital media at Brown University, and the history and literature of Latin America at Columbia University. Learn more about Nate on his blog.