About Smartly

Smartly is a new education technology company that's out to change how we all learn, while connecting education directly to positive career outcomes.

The Smartly Team

We’ve put together a team of pioneers, from our business content experts to our programmers and engineers to our executive leadership. We’re the same core team that drove Rosetta Stone from its startup roots to the largest, most innovative language learning company in the world.

Tom Adams

Tom Adams

Chairman/CEO and Co-founder

An E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year National Winner, Tom is the former Chairman/CEO of Rosetta Stone and was previously on the board at Bridgewater Associates. He has an MBA from INSEAD and a B.A. in history from Bristol University.

Alexie Harper

Alexie Harper

Chief Academic Officer and Co-founder

Previously the director of R&D and a senior researcher at Rosetta Stone, and a travel writer and editor for Let's Go Inc., Alexie holds an M.A. in Irish and Irish-American Studies from NYU and an A.B. in English Literature and Language from Harvard University.

Ori Ratner

Ori Ratner

CTO and Co-founder

Ori previously was a director of software development and the software architect at Rosetta Stone. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, with a research focus in computer graphics and multi-agent simulation.

Matt Schenck

Matt Schenck

VP Admissions

Having architected and built the consumer division of Rosetta Stone, Matt ultimately led the global growth strategy as Executive Vice President. He has a B.A. in psychology from Williams College.

Curriculum Development

Mai Ajjour

Prior to Smartly, Mai worked in the humanitarian sector at the International Rescue Committee as a senior information and communication technology for programs officer (ICT4P). She holds a BS.c. from Al al-Bayt University in Computer Science.

Kira Charlesworth

Prior to joining Smartly, Kira developed online learning resources for international educators and served as a Youth Development Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. She holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tiffany Chen

Tiffany previously worked as a quality assurance specialist at Epic Systems and wrote for a lifestyle magazine in her hometown of Shanghai, China. Tiffany holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University.

Ellie DiBerardino

Ellie joined Smartly after spending a few years in the world of advertising as a copywriter and strategist. She received her B.A. in Mathematics from Georgetown University, where she also minored in Russian and earned a place in the Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society.

James Kelly

Prior to Smartly, James worked as a professional musician, recording engineer, and photographer. He has an A.B. in history from Georgetown University where he also studied French and studio art. He's a Grammy® voter and was a 2012 Latin Grammy nominee.

Catherine Killingsworth

Before joining Smartly, Catherine was a public school teacher, a school administrator, and the founder and executive director of an award-winning education nonprofit. She earned her B.A. in English from Yale University and her MBA from Smartly.

Daniel Mintz

Prior to Smartly, Daniel was a visiting assistant professor of mathematics at Georgetown University, where he also earned his A.B. in mathematics and classics. He received his doctorate in mathematics and classics from the University of St Andrews, and has also earned the CFA Institute Investment Foundations certificate.

Skylar Neil

Before Smartly, Skylar worked as a manager at an independent bookstore and a freelance copy editor. She recently received her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge, and holds an M.A. in Classical Archaeology from Tufts University and a B.A. in Ancient Studies from UMBC.

John Pella

Before joining Smartly, John worked as a researcher and lecturer in higher education.  He is the author of several academic articles and one book.  He received his Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bristol in the UK.


Evan Ayres

Before joining Smartly, Evan worked in residential real estate operations at Compass, a technology driven real estate brokerage. He earned his B.A. in American Studies from The University of Virginia.

Caitlin Cummings

Caitlin previously worked for McKinsey & Company as an Engagement Manager in their Washington, DC and Philadelphia offices. She has a Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia’s Batten School and a B.A. from UVa in history and interdisciplinary studies.

Sarah Harder

Before joining Smartly, Sarah worked for 7 years at Rosetta Stone. She started in customer success before managing their B2B post-sales mass communications and their online support portal. She has a B.A. in Communications from Eastern Mennonite University.

Rachael Harnish

Prior to joining Smartly, Rachael managed Business Operations for the consumer sales team at Rosetta Stone. She’s a Silver Stevie award winner and holds an M.B.A. in Innovation from JMU and a B.A. in Spanish and Liberal Arts from EMU.

Emily Merlino

Prior to joining Smartly, Emily worked for the New York Public Library and IES Abroad Dublin. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an M.Phil in Public History and Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin.

Nick Stevens

Prior to joining Smartly, Nick taught high school AP US History and transitioned into the sports media world. He received his B.A in History and M.A.T in Secondary Education from James Madison University.


Nate Brustein

Before Smartly, Nate worked as an engineer at Rosetta Stone, as a New York City pedicab driver, taught English in China, and did economic research in the Senate. Nate has a B.A. in economics and political philosophy from NYU.

Brent Dearth

Brent previously worked on simulation-based medical training at B-Line Medical and language learning systems at Rosetta Stone. Brent’s current passion is highly interactive interfaces and bleeding-edge JavaScript, as well as DevOps and process pipeline duties.

Tammy Hart

Always interested in design and technology, Tammy is a hobbyist turned professional developer. Her experience before Smartly includes running her own business as well as working as a designer and developer for world-class marketing agencies.

Matt Langston

Matt received his M.S. in Computer Science from Mississippi State University. Prior to Smartly, he managed Android development for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security's job board. His current passions lie in mobile development, JavaScript, and UX.

Isaac Mast

Before joining the Smartly team, Isaac studied at Eastern Mennonite University where he received a B.S. in computer science and studied subjects ranging from business administration to Middle Eastern religions and cultures.

Colby Melvin

Prior to Smartly, Colby worked as an engineer at Communiqué, a multi-platform communication software service. Colby received his B.S. in Computer Science from UNC Wilmington.

Student & Employer Relations

Veronica Reyes Apostolas

Veronica's career has taken her across Asia, Europe and the US. Prior to Smartly, she worked as a consultant in the health & pharma investiture industry. She has a Masters in International Management from IE Business School, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nathan Bennet

Prior to joining Smartly, Nathan managed the Men’s Basketball Team at his alma mater. He earned his B.B.A. in Marketing and Psychology from the College of William & Mary.

Kim Black

Kim joins Smartly with several years of experience working in the ed-tech industry, partnering with universities to drive student outcomes around recruitment, retention, and career services. Prior to education, her career includes stints in the nonprofit and legal industry. Kim holds a B.A. in Political Science and Women's Studies from UC Irvine and a J.D. from Whittier Law School.

Karim Chrobog

Karim leads business development at Smartly. He's an award-winning filmmaker and documentary maker. Prior, he was a partner at the Foxhall Group and senior policy analyst at Time Warner. Karim holds a BSFS from Georgetown University and MBAs from ESADE, FGV, and Georgetown.

Nicole Croft

Before joining Smartly, Nicole lived in Florence, Italy teaching English as a second language to children and adult learners. Upon returning to the US, she joined a manufacturing trade association as a marketing assistant. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the College of William & Mary.

Rachel Fletcher

Rachel is a brand strategist and marketer with an extensive background in digital media. Prior to joining Smartly, she worked at LA-based ad agency RPA, where her clients included Southwest Airlines and Honda. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Allison Harper

Allison focuses on social learning, research, and analytics at Smartly. Previously, Allison was a senior manager at Rosetta Stone, leading a team in paid media and content marketing. She holds an A.B. in human evolutionary biology from Harvard University, where she also studied music.

Scott Kim

Prior to joining Smartly, Scott taught K-6 mathematics and English and managed a fast casual restaurant. He graduated with a B.A. in Japanese Language & Literature and International Affairs from George Washington University.

Makis Livadas

Before joining Smartly, Makis taught English in Seoul, South Korea, served as a paratrooper in the Greek military and worked as a marketing investment analyst at a SaaS company in the edtech sector. He earned his BA in economics and sociology from the University of Pittsburgh and MSc from Bocconi University.

Rahul Mantripragada

Before Smartly, Rahul worked with a four person team and launched a social sports mobile application, SportOn. He also worked on the Digital Marketing team at Fueled, an App Development agency in New York City. His passions include Product Marketing, Product Management, UX, and Mobile Applications. He holds a B.S. from Rutgers University in Exercise Science.

Jennifer Nearn

Jennifer’s experience in higher education spans two continents, from the University of London to the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business where she worked on the MBA admissions team as Program Coordinator. When not at Smartly, she can be found serving in one of three volunteer positions she holds in her community. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Psychology from Oregon State University.

Michael Walker

Prior to joining Smartly, Michael was a political appointee in the Obama administration. He previously worked at Morgan Stanley and on a senate campaign. Michael holds a A.B. in Government and Economics from Harvard University.


Michael Horn

Michael is an advisor for Smartly. He is a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute and co-author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. Michael holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Pawel Swiatek

Pawel is a board advisor at Smartly. His experience includes ten years as an investment and management professional at Bridgewater Associates, as well as consulting work with McKinsey & Company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University.

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