Board of Directors

Every Board of Directors member is personally committed to and deeply engaged in advancing the Institute’s work. We depend on them for their oversight, advice and generous support.

Dawn Barber  

Dawn Barber is the co-founder of NY Tech Meetup, a growing 38,000+ member non-profit industry organization that supports and promotes the New York technology community, and is the largest meetup in the world. She has extensive experience in planning and organizing conferences and events in and around the New York technology community, since having been one of NYNMA’s directors from 1998-2001, and since then producing the Shorty Awards for the past three years, and Gadgetoff among others before that. She was one of the first Pipeline Fund fellows, and sits on the boards of InSITEand MOUSE, and the Astia NYC Advisory Board. In addition she serves on the Alliance for Downtown New York Leadership Council.

Rose Else-Mitchell  

Rose leads the newly-formed Professional Services organization at HMH, the global learning company. She is designing the strategy, operating model, and integration design for combining Scholastic Education services’ business and HMH legacy Services divisions to optimize HMH’s ability to meet schools’ rapidly-evolving professional service needs through the United States and internationally.

Rose served in a variety of roles at Scholastic prior to the acquisition of Scholastic Education by HMH in 2015. Most recently she was Senior Vice President, Education, overseeing the vision, strategy and development of all blended programs and assessment, preK-12. Rose led teams that developed reading intervention technology and curriculum programs including READ 180 Universal, READ 180 Next Generation, MATH 180, System 44, Expert 21, iRead and Big Day for Pre K. From 2013, she served a dual role as Global Digital Publisher at Scholastic Inc., supporting the international business’ transformation to education sales model and the development of digital solutions throughout established subsidiaries and emerging markets.

Prior to Scholastic, Rose worked as a professional development publisher in Sydney, Australia, partnering across academia and the classroom focused on scaling practices to improve teaching and learning. She has worked for education non-profits, as a TV book reviewer, educational researcher, and a classroom teacher – all in the service of engaging and innovating the learning experience. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oxford.

Tristan Louis  Vice Chair

Tristan Louis is a serial entrepreneur and technology chronicler with over 20 years of experience in digital media, mobile, internet, finance, advertising and a wide variety of other industries. As the founder or co-founder of 6 different companies, he’s made breakthroughs in publishing, games, advertising, e-commerce, and finance. During the 1990s, Tristan pioneered digital publishing, with two companies ( and Earthweb) that eventually listed on the NASDAQ. Later, he worked as Chief Innovation Officer for HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world. More recently, he was the founder of Keepskor, an innovative company that combined games and advertising on mobile devices for some of the largest brands in the world. A frequent chronicler of the technology world via his own newsletter, and in other publications (the New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, etc..), Tristan is great at identifying early strategic trends, identifying their core components and turning them into market-changing business opportunities. Tristan has spoken at TED, the World Economic Forum, CES, SXSW, and others and is frequently quoted on matters related technology. He also appears on a regular basis as a technology experts on several TV channels such as Al-Jazeera, the BBC, BFM, and CNN. Tristan has been a close advisor for clients like Nokia, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Time-Warner, and many more. He hold a journalism degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a master’s certificate from George Washington University.

Steven Masur  

Steven Masur brings over 20 years of direct strategic business experience to his client matters in digital media, mobile, entertainment, and a wide variety of other industries. He has helped clients create new products and make breakthrough returns in digital music, film, video games, mobile and wireless services, licensing, advertising, retail, manufacturing, publishing, media delivery, software and hardware. Steve is great at divining great strategic opportunities, because he can break down complicated legal and business problems into their component parts and apply metaphors that make difficult decisions seem easy. Steve is a regular speaker at such conferences as CES, SXSW, CTIA, Mobile World Congress, and Digital Hollywood and has written a wide variety of articles on cutting edge business and legal issues. He edited the 2010 IAEL book on Collective Rights Licensing, and frequently blogs about new business opportunities. Steve started his career working on and off Capital Hill in Washington DC. He then moved to New York to work for the Newhouses at Conde Nast on corporate and cable TV deals, and parlayed his experience there into a career working with growth stage to enterprise level companies across a wide variety of different industries. It is this cross industry perspective which informs how he looks at corporate, intellectual property, and transactional law. Steve’s clients have included Shazam, Virgin Mobile, Liberty Media, Yamaha, Nielsen BuzzMetrics, and Bob Vila, among others. Steve went to Colby College, and got his law degree at American University, Washington College of Law.


Sophie Rogers-Gessert  Treasurer

Now a small-business owner and photographer, Sophie previously served as Director of Development for Demos, an international policy institute, and worked as a management and fundraising consultant, helping nonprofit organizations refine their goals and strategies. She believes in games as a powerful tool to create better schools, deeper learning, and dynamic citizenship in a changing world. Sophie studied philosophy at Sarah Lawrence College, and negotiation and dispute resolution at Harvard University.

Katie Salen Tekinbas  

Katie is the former founding Executive Director and is currently responsible for developing new projects, programs, products, and services in her role as Fellow. Part of her responsibilities include establishing a consulting practice within the Institute to work with a wide range of organizations seeking to leverage in new contexts the Institute’s cutting edge work in game-based learning. She is an active game designer and, as one of the Institute’s founders, a pioneer in applying game design principles to challenges outside the field of commercial game development.Katie is a Professor in the School of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. She lectures widely and writes extensively on game design, design education and gamer culture. She has co-authored or edited several books, including Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, The Game Design Reader and The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Also, Katie was co-lead designer on Gamestar Mechanic, an award-winning online game with built-in game design curriculum. She has been involved in the design of slow games, online games, mobile games and big games in the commercial and independent games sectors around the world.

Eric Zimmerman  Chair

Eric is a game designer who has been working in the game industry for nearly 20 years. Along with Peter Lee, he co-founded Institute of Play as well as Gamelab, an NYC-based game development studio he led for 9 years. Gamelab created games for entertainment and education, including Gamestar Mechanic, an online site that lets kids create their own games. Eric publishes and lectures widely about game design and game culture. He is the co-author with Katie Salen of Rules of Play, the standard textbook on game design. Eric has created dozens of award-winning games, from massively multiplayer online games to physical games for galleries and museums. Recent projects include an installation for the Museum of Modern Art, a film created with director David Kaplan, and a videogame collaboration with Deepak Chopra. He is a founding faculty at the NYU Game Center. 

Advisory Council

Every Board of Advisors member is personally committed to and deeply engaged in advancing the Institute’s work. We depend on them for their oversight, advice and generous support.

  • Steve Arnold

    Co-founder and Partner Emeritus, Polaris Partners Co-founder and Vice Chairman, George Lucas Educational Foundation

  • Carole Artigiani

    Founder, President Emerita, Global Kids

  • Arnab Basu

    Producer, Playdom, Disney Interactive

  • Alessandro D'Ansembourg

    Member of the Board of Directors, Flora Family Foundation

  • Erica Gruen

    Principal, Quantum Media

  • Justin Hsu

    CEO, Marcopolo Learning

  • Peter Lee

    CEO, Nolgong Powerhouse

  • Rick Litvin

    Associate Arts Professor, Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Tisch School of the Arts

  • Franklin Madison

    Managing Director and Director of Technology Programs, Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation of New York

  • Jay Melican

    Senior Research Scientist, Intel Labs’ Interaction and Experience Research Group

  • Sally Rosenthal

    Executive Vice President, Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment

  • Bliksem Tobey

    Senior Digital Manager, McKinsey Digital Labs