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.


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.

Kristina Batiste

Before joining Smartly, Kristina was a content strategist and user experience researcher for the University of Southern California and taught in the Master of Management in Library and Information Science program at USC Marshall School of Business. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University and her Master of Information and Library Science from the University of British Columbia.

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.

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.

Casey Frend

Casey has spent most of her career as a mathematics instructor at the college level. She was also a solutions architect for a private tech start-up before joining Smartly. Casey holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education and an M.S. in Mathematical Sciences.

Dan Gryboski

Dan started his career as a mechanical engineer, helping airports procure automated trains. He then switched to education, teaching math and statistics to middle school, high school, and college students. He earned a B.A. in Math and Computer Science from Colorado College, and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

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.

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.

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.

Chris Murcko

Prior to joining Smartly, Chris taught high school mathematics and worked as an education consultant for a national nonprofit organization. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Houston.

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.

Natalie Sappleton

Natalie joined Smartly after working as an assistant professor in Management and Entrepreneurship at Manchester Metropolitan University. She received her doctorate from the same university, and her M.A. in Economics and Politics from the University of Glasgow.


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.

Indhika Jayaratnam

Prior to joining Smartly, Indhika helped launch a graduate program at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, then lead admissions for the McCourt School of Public Policy, both at Georgetown University. She holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and a BA/MA in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University.

Andrea Mast

Prior to joining Smartly, Andrea ran operations for a nonprofit in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A in. English from Goshen College.

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.

Matthew Chait

Before joining Smartly, Matthew worked as a Senior Admissions counselor at 2U with multiple programs working to improve business optimization and process. Prior to working in EdTech, Matthew served in various capacities as an EMT. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The George Washington University.

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.

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.

Rachel Langley

Prior to joining Smartly, Rachel assisted in the expansion of a local educational tour company in Oaxaca, Mexico and taught English as a second language. She holds a B.A. from Portland State University in Liberal Studies with a focus in sustainable agriculture.

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.

Gavin Moore

With nearly a decade of experience in the credentialing and education sectors, Gavin is interested in the processes by which people learn and validate their skills. He holds a B.A. from Iowa State University where he focused on environmental ethics through programs in both Philosophy and Environmental Studies.

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.

Theresa Stockdale

Theresa is a former Product and Supply Chain Manager from Kodak who has also traveled the world advocating for educational access on behalf of children living in extreme poverty. She holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Rochester and a B.S. from Penn State University in Supply Chain Management.


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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