The Project Management Committee (PMC) is the body responsible for strategic oversight of the Sakai project. The PMC operates based on meritocratic principles of member selection, and consensus based decision making taken in an open and transparent manner.

The Apereo Foundation staff members provide support to the PMC and the Sakai community.

Current Leadership

Noah Botimer

University of Michigan

Noah is a technologist with a strong devotion to supporting and improving education. A long-time developer, Noah has built numerous tools and services inside and outside university campuses. His focus is on adaptability, enjoying new platforms, techniques, perspectives, and challenges. Within the Apereo/Sakai community, he has served in technical and leadership roles, often bridging disciplinary and communication differences, especially in the areas of electronic portolios and assessment. He currently serves as a developer at the University of Michigan, specializing in learning technologies and integration. Noah also represents U-M to the IMS Global Learning Consortium's Technical Advisory Board, again, building bridges within and between educational and technical communities. He enjoys making music, cooking, and drinking too much coffee.

Matthew Buckett

Oxford University

Matthew Buckett is a Senior Developer working at Oxford on it's local Sakai deployment. He's been involved in providing and developing learning technology solutions for the past 10 years.

Diego del Blanco Orobitg


Diego del Blanco Orobitg's involvement in the Sakai community started in 2005 at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. He has been working since then in several companies (now at UNICON as the Sakai Tech Lead) covering a lot of different roles related to Sakai: Development, training about and with Sakai, project management, user's and customer's support, marketing, finances and management in a SCA, Sakai implementations and integrations, QA, educational, instructional and pedagogical design providing a vision of the needs of all the actors involved in the educational process. He is the Latam representative at the Apereo Foundation and was selected as Apereo Fellow in 2014 and won the 2015 TWSIA award. 

His education includes a Master Degree in Telecommunication Engineering at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, an MBA at INEDE Business School and a Master in eLearning Technologies at the Universidad de Sevilla.

Ian Dolphin

Executive Director of the Apereo Foundation

Ian has led organizational and technology projects to improve post- ‐secondary education in the United Kingdom and played a leading role in collaboration with Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Ian acts as an ex-officio member of the PMC.

Shawn Foster

Western University

Shawn is an eLearning Technology Specialist at Western University. He works with Western's local Sakai-focused developers, eLearning teams, and central technology support teams to further enhance online and blended learning at Western.

Shawn has been involved in the Sakai community since 2011. He regularly attends community calls, contributes development and user interface improvements, and collaborates with other members of the Sakai community from both development and eLearning perspectives.

Chuck Hedrick

Rutgers University

Chuck is a long-time contributor to Sakai.  He developed the Sakai Lessons capability in Sakai 2.9, giving Sakai an excellent authoring tool for instructional content.  In later Sakai releases Lessons has evolved with responsive layout and multi-column support.  Chuck has also contributed to evaluating and improving Sakai's performance and security for many years.

Wilma Hodges


Wilma is the Director of Training and eLearning Initiatives at Longsight. She has more than 20 years experience in faculty training, LMS administration, online pedagogy, instructional design, online course and program development, teaching, and technical writing. Wilma has been involved with the Sakai project since 2009, and plays a leadership role in a number of Sakai community groups including the Sakai Documentation Working Group, the Sakai Virtual Conference, Apereo FARM (Funding and Resource Management), and the UX Working Group. 
Wilma holds a master's degree in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida, and an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. She was selected as an Apereo Fellow in 2016.

Dede Hourican

Marist College

Dede is the Assistant Dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist College, focusing on building external connections to the business community and serves as a Director for the Institute for Data Center Professionals (IDCP). A long term community member within multiple projects and events,  Dede has most recently directed focus on quality assurance with participation in the Sakai QA committee.  

One of Dede's favorite activities within the Sakai community is managing a group of anywhere between 10-20 international graduate and undergraduate students each year. She trains and mentors them throughout the QA process and teaches them about open source software and global communities, building future sakaigers, a QA model that benefits both students for experiential learning and the Sakai community as a whole.

Dede is an Adjunct Faculty in the school of Computer Science and Math, holds a BS in Integrative Studies from Marist College and is currently working towards her MA in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Matthew Jones


Senior Software Developer Matthew Jones provides software development services for the Sakai community and clients working at Longsight Inc. Matthew has been actively involved with the Sakai project since 2008 both at Longsight Inc. and earlier at the University of Michigan. Matthew is currently highly active in the Sakai community, participating on the Project Management Committee (PMC), the Sakai Core Team as well as performing general software maintenance. Matthew holds a MS in Software Engineering and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan Dearborn.

Adam Marshall

Oxford University 

Adam works in Academic IT Services at the University of Oxford and manages the university’s Sakai service. In the past, he has been a lecturer in e-Learning and developed an open source electronic Personal Development Planning application.

Adam is an active contributor to the Sakai open source community and has extensive experience of interoperability and delivering electronic services within educational institutions. He has also written a number of academic papers about optimisation, software testing and learning technology, and more recently, has been the author and leader of a number of successful IT projects.

Earle Nietzel


Earle Nietzel has been actively involved in Sakai since 2006. He serves on the Sakai Core Team and is the branch maintainer for Sakai 10. His most notable contributions include persistence of Sakai’s configuration. When not directly working on Sakai he is typically working on LTI tools using Scala and Play frameworks.

Photo of Sam Ottenhoff
Sam Ottenhoff


Sam filed his first Sakai JIRA ticket over nine years ago (SAK-93) and has contributed to Sakai development and QA ever since. He was a member of Megan May's QA group for the Sakai 2.6 release and for the 2.7 series provided QA support as well as code patches. In 2010 he joined the maintenance team and also the release management work group, helping triage bug tickets and serving as a 2.8.x branch manager. He was elected to the Sakai Technical Coordination Committee in September 2011 and served as release manager for the Sakai 2.9 release.

Sam is a founding partner of Longsight, a company created to focus on supporting open-source applications for higher-ed. Sam graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in History and worked on an early generation of campus web applications. After college, Sam worked in New York City for interactive learning company ACTV and then as an educational technologist at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jeff Pasch

New York University

Jeff Pasch is the LMS Product Director at New York University. He works closely with designers, instructional technologists, developers, QA and UX teams, and the NYU Community in improving and maintaining NYU’s instance of Sakai.

Since 2010, Jeff has been involved with the Sakai community. He has managed projects to deliver a new Gradebook and PA System tool in Sakai 11. He has over 15 of years of experience in implementing and supporting enterprise systems. Jeff lives in Brooklyn but is a Midwesterner at heart. 

Juan Jose Meroño Sánchez

University of Murcia

Juan has been involved in IT for Teaching and Learning since 1998, running home grown software first, and then switched to Sakai since 2009. Juan José has been a lead developer for over 10 years now in the Area of Information and Communications Technology (ATICA) at the University of Murcia, Spain. He has also written manuals for developers and shared his knowledge by teaching courses inside and outside his area. Juan José has a degree in Computer Sciences and was also a lecturer at the University for four years. He has an active participation in the Sakai community where he has been enrolled as a QA performance leader, active member of the S2U Team and actively involved in finding and solving bugs together with his team at the University.

Charles Severance

University of Michigan

Charles is a Clinical Associate Professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He also works with the IMS Global Learning Consortium promoting and developing standards for teaching and learning technology. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project.

Charles is the editor of the Computing Conversations column in IEEE Computer magazine that features a monthly article and video interview of a computing pioneer. Charles is the author of the book, "Sakai Free as in Freedom" that describes the early days of the open source Sakai project. Charles is also the author of the book, "Using Google App Engine" from O'Reilly and Associates and the book "Python for Informatics: Exploring Information". He also wrote the O'Reilly book titled, "High Performance Computing". Charles has a background in standards including serving as the vice-chair for the IEEE Posix P1003 standards effort and edited the Standards Column in IEEE Computer Magazine from 1995-1999.

Charles is active in television and radio as a hobby, he has co-hosted several television shows including "Nothin but Net" produced by MediaOne and a nationally televised program about the Internet called "Internet:TCI". Charles appeared for over 10 years as an expert on Internet and Technology as a co-host of a live call-in radio program on the local Public Radio affiliate (

Chuck's hobbies include off-road motorcycle riding, karaoke and playing hockey.

Charles has a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Michigan State University.

Steve Swinsburg

Flying Kite

Steve is a Senior Analyst and Applications Developer at Fivium, a dynamic, green IT business workflow software company. He holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology and a Bachelor of Science Degree. He also has several years of tertiary teaching experience. In 2011, Steve was elected to the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors and in 2012 became a Founding Board member of Apereo. Steve is also the founder of Flying Kite, a software house based in Australia delivering Sakai support and custom development services to educational institutions worldwide since 2008. Steve actively contributes to the various mailing lists and assists other developers within the community and in 2009 was selected as a Sakai Foundation Fellow. Steve has written over a dozen articles on Sakai best practices and how-to's, and regularly blogs about Sakai related developments. In 2008 he had a paper on Sakai in distance education published in the Australian ascilite journal. Steve was heavily involved with the organisation of AuSakai 2011 at the Australian National University in Canberra, which to date, has been the most successful Sakai event in Australasia. Steve is also an active uPortal contributor and has developed several JSR-168 portlets, notably the Sakai Connector Portlet and the Basic LTI Portlet, both implementing the IMS LTI specification.


Joshua Baron (Emeritus)

As the Senior Academic Technology Officer for Marist College, Mr. Baron directs the office of Academic Technology and eLearning which is responsible for overseeing a wide range of instructional technology initiatives, including distance learning, faculty professional development, and learner support.  He also plays a leadership role in strategic planning for the College in areas of academic and information technology.  Over the past two years he has served as the Principle Investigator (PI) for the Open Academic Analytics Initiative (OAAI) which was funded through an EDUCAUSE Next Generation Learning Challenges grant. 

Mr. Baron was first elected to the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors in 2008 and re-elected for a second three year term in 2011.  He served as Foundation Board Chair for three years between 2009 and 2012 and is currently a member of the Apereo Foundation Board of Directors, having served as Chair from 2013-14, which formed from the merger of the Sakai and Jasig open-source non-profit organizations. Before coming to Marist, Mr. Baron 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.  During this time he was also a member of the Stevens WebCampus initiative and developed one of the first Stevens online graduate courses.   

Mr. Baron 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 in Educational Technology Leadership (ETL) from the George Washington University through their pioneering online ETL program.  Most recently he completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. 

Alen Berg

Universiteit van Amsterdam |  Community officer for the Apereo Learning Analytics initiative | PMC Member

Alan works at the University of Amsterdam, center of information technology, education & research services development group. He is a member of the Innovation working group on the use of ICT in Education & Research, in the Sakai PMC, a core member of the Surf Special Interest Group on Learning Analytics, CTO for a Center of Job knowledge Research. He does lots of other stuff as well. Alan's main focus is getting stuff done and occasionally avoiding spelling mistakes in hastily written e-mails.

John Bush (Emeritus)

Asahi Net International

John has worked at ANI (formerly rSmart) for over 9 years. He's been actively involved with the Open Source Portfolio project and the Sakai project from their inceptions.  John is responsible for managing and delivering on ANI's technical vision surrounding its Sakai offerings. Prior to ANI, John held positions at other organizations in the learning space including Ellucian  (formerly SunGard HE) and Cengage (formerly Thomson Netg). He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of Arizona.

David Horwitz (Emeritus)

University of Cape Town

David started at CET’s predecessor, the Multimedia Education Group in 1998 as a student assistant undertaking technical support for lab based teaching. For him, this position sparked a curiosity toward Educational Technology and he has been with CET ever since. As part of the Learning Technologies team, David's main work focuses on the development of online learning spaces, notably Sakai. His interests include developing usable interfaces to teaching environments and developing simple interfaces to complex systems.

He is most passionate about the Sakai community which he describes as vibrant and interesting. David was named a Sakai Fellow in 2007 for his outstanding involvement and contribution to this online community. Outside of work, he practices traditional Okinawan karate and has earned himself a black belt in this martial art.

Beth Kirschner (Emeritus)

University of Michigan

Beth Kirschner has over twenty five years of experience in software development of learning management and collaboration systems, grid computing, digital libraries, and industrial automation. She's been involved in the Sakai project since 2005 as both a developer and manager at the University of Michigan, with special interest in generalized solutions to local problems, using technology to augment but not impede academic teaching and learning, and internationalization. She has served as the chair of the Sakai CLE Technical Coordination Committee (PMC) and been honored as a Sakai Fellow.

Jean-Francois Leveque (Emeritus)

Université Pierre et Marie Curie | PMC Member
Jean-François Lévêque did first bite of Sakai when evaluating version Sakai 2.2.0 in 2006. He's been running it in production at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France) since September 2007 with 2.4.x. On the community side, he's been involved in QA since 2007, getting into internationalization not much later. 2009 Sakai Fellow, he has also been involved in branch maintenance and release management. One of the TCC founders in 2010, he's still a member of the same body now renamed PMC. He's also been Internationalization and Localization Work Group coordinator since March 2013.

Seth Theriault (Emeritus)

Columbia University | PMC Vice-Chair (2013-2014)

Seth works on research, teaching, and learning systems at Columbia University and was the original technical lead for its Sakai deployment. He has been active in the Sakai community since early 2005, was named an inaugural Sakai Fellow in 2006, and served on the Sakai Foundation Board in 2012.

Anthony Whyte (Emeritus)

University of Michigan,  PMC Chair (2013-2014)

Anthony currently holds a joint Library/ITS staff appointment at the University of Michigan.  Between 2004-2012 he was seconded to the  Sakai Project and then the Sakai Foundation, serving in a variety of community, technical and leadership roles.  In 2013 he "returned home" in order to focus on campus initiatives that leverage technology in the service of learning and teaching.  A former Fulbright scholar, Anthony was educated at Michigan State University and Princeton University.

Aaron Zeckoski (Emeritus)

Unicon | PMC Member

Aaron is a software architect and open source software engineer primarily specializing in learning systems. His experience includes work in distributed teams, university teams, commercial teams, and as an independent consultant.
 Aaron is internationally recognized for his expertise in the Sakai open source learning system and he serves as a member of the core team and PMC. An experienced systems architect, Aaron has demonstrated his programming expertise in all aspects of web application development. He is a major contributor to open source projects such as Sakai LMS, DSpace repository, and Opencast Matterhorn.

Aaron is experienced and interested in technical leadership, high scalability systems, development tools and practices, and developer training. He is an expert in PHP, Java, Javascript, REST, and Cloud services/deployment. Aaron is a member of open source developer communities and an active open source advocate. He seeks challenging work involving web applications and service oriented architectures.