Our Team

We are a team mission-driven nerds in pursuit of social justice. We don’t accept the status quo in education, and we are passionate about building technology to honor the human right to education.

Our TeamOur Board

We are Engineers for Educators

We are designers, educators, community builders, engineers, and storytellers passionate about learning. We are based in Redwood City, California and Pune, India.

Team Members

Prasad Ram, PhD
Founder & CEO

When I grow up, I want to be a teacher

Srinivasan HP
Senior Director of Product

Books, long drives, music

Subbu Kavuri
Senior Director of Engineering

Focused, technically inquisitive, introvert

Priti Agarwal
Director of Partnerships

Art admirer, loves innovation and working with numbers

Michelle Newstadt
Learning Scientist

Endless explorer, outdoor enthusiast, educator

Ashish Mishra

Technologist in pursuit of perfection

Mukul Markande
Data Architect

Silent crusader, technologist attempting to make pictures with data, loves The Matrix

Sachin Zope
Senior Engineer

Reader, loves to swell using technology

Sachin Nagare
Senior Quality Engineer

Quality focused, socially responsible, appreciation of nature

Laxmikant Birajdar
Automation Lead

Vivid traveller & explorer, loves life, nature & Hindi Cinema

Abhay Pal
Lead Engineer

Creator by nature, creating things out of mocks, DIY kits, etc.

Aveek Katiyar
Design Lead

Motorhead, athlete and shutterbug; interested in literally everything

Experience that guides us

Gooru was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in January 2011 with a mission to honor the human right to education. In addition to providing governance, the Board of Directors are dedicated to and fully support Gooru's mission.

Board of Directors

Nancy Butler Songer

Nancy Butler Songer is a Distinguished University Professor and Dean of the School of Education at Drexel University. Dr. Songer is an expert in science education and learning technologies with particular emphasis on the assessment of science knowledge and the design of learning environments that emphasize critical thinking in science. Songer’s work in educational assessment draws from the realization that students’ complex science knowledge development was not well represented in off-the-shelf assessments. Songer is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and she is the recipient of both a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship by President William J. Clinton and a United States of America Department of Education Promising Educational Technology Award. Prior to Drexel, Songer was a professor at the University of Michigan for eighteen years where she conducted the majority of her research in conjunction with the Detroit Public Schools.

Kenji Hakuta

Kenji Hakuta is an Emeritus Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. His areas of teaching and research are bilingualism, second language acquisition, education policy and social and experimental research. He worked on standards-based reform and has provided recommendations to the Clinton Administration. He created the English Language Learner (ELL) Leader Network at Stanford which brings together leaders from rural districts in California. He has authored several books including The Science and Psychology of Second Language Acquisition and Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism. Prior to Stanford, he was the Founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced. He has also taught at Yale University and the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his BA Magna Cum Laude in Psychology and Social Relations, and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, both from Harvard University.

Michelle Rodriguez

Michelle Rodriguez has been dedicated to students in urban and rural, low socio-economic districts for over 25 years with a focus on fragile student populations. She just finished her first year as Superintendent of Pajaro Valley Unified in January 2018, where she was able to implement many new innovative programs, such as Footsteps2Brillance, Latino Youth Film Institute, and expanded Dual Immersion Program. She comes from Santa Ana Unified, the 6th largest district in California. As the Assistant Superintendent, K-12 Teaching and Learning, of Santa Ana Unified, she oversaw 11 divisions, including Curriculum and Instruction. She led the creation of digital content that is being used at SAUSD’s first competency based school, Advanced Learning Academy, and Open Campus, the district’s first virtual high school. She plans to bring personalized learning to Pajaro Valley Unified and accelerate student achievement so that all students become 21st Century graduates prepared for college and career.

Prasad Ram

Prasad Ram (aka Pram) is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Gooru. While working at Google, Pram devised a prototype to address his problem of finding age and topic appropriate educational resources on the web. Gooru, as it is today, began as a “20% effort” evolved into a year-long pilot in India that included 1,000 students across 25 classrooms. Pram left Google to pursue Gooru as a non-profit education technology start-up. Pram has previously worked at Xerox Research, Dynamx Technology (co-founder), Yahoo! and Google. Pram has a Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from UCLA, and he obtained his B.Tech. in Computer Science from IIT-Bombay. You can reach Pram at pram@gooru.org.

Sriram Viswanathan
Board Member, Gooru India

Sriram Viswanathan is the Founding Managing Partner of IndusAge Partners — a technology venture fund established in 2013 that focuses on accelerating the monetization of innovation-led products & platforms globally. In his last role within Intel, he was the Vice President of the Intel Architecture Group (IAG) and General Manager of Intel’s Incubation and Innovation Group. Sriram is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Intel Achievement Award and has also been awarded Intel Divisional Awards on numerous occasions. He has served on the Kofi Annan Committee for UNICT and has played an advisory role to the State Department and White House. He is currently a Board Member of Clairvolex, QuadGen Wireless and CloudLeaf. He is also Senior Advisor to ATIC (Mubadala) and Global Foundries and a Strategic Board Advisor to Bahwan CyberTek (BCT) — a global IT services firm. He is an Advisory Board Member of Aravind Eye Hospitals in India and the Keck Graduate Institute. Sriram has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business (1997) and has degrees in physics, computer science and automation from the American College and the Indian Institute of Science respectively.

Shalini Urs
Board Member, Gooru India

Dr. Shalini Urs has spent more than four decades in teaching, research, and building digital learning systems. Believing in the power of technologies to enhance learning, she began putting her research to work by taking up projects such as HyperCAL (Hypertext-based Computer Aided Learning in 1993. She pioneered the Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD) movement in India with her Vidhyanidhi eScholarship portal in 2000. Dr. Urs has been a Fulbright scholar and a visiting professor at the Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, USA; an adjunct faculty at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIITB) and a visiting professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore. Taking a 360-degree view of information, she has researched on issues ranging from the theoretical foundations of information sciences to Informatics. She has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals and prestigious academic conferences and also edited five books published by Springer. Dr. Urs has won many awards—including the NDLTD - Adobe Leadership award in 2004; Emerald Research Fund Award 2007-08. She was awarded the Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer 2010 by the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA.

Board of Advisors

Alex Belous

Alex Belous is the Education Portfolio Manager for the Cisco Foundation. Alex began his career as a first grade teacher, and then as the Internet Technology Manager for the Arizona Department of Education where he improved the opportunity of rural and underserved students on Native American reservations and in other high-need school districts. Joining Cisco in 1998, Alex served as one of the founders of the Cisco Network Academy--a dynamic learning platform that now serves more than 1 million students per year. After 6 years Alex transferred to the Cisco Corporate Affairs group as the Education Specialist, working with teams across the company to address innovative and effective use of network technologies in schools. Alex holds a BA Early Childhood Education and two Masters in Elementary Education/Reading Instruction and Counseling Psychology.

Louise Waters

Dr. Waters, retiring Superintendent of Leadership Public Schools (LPS), worked with Gooru’s team to lay the foundation with technology, products, funding, partnerships and school engagements.  LPS prototypes provided the conceptual and instructional underpinnings for many aspects of Goorus' Learning Navigator. Prior to her 11 years leading LPS, she headed research at the Stupski foundation on districts that accelerated the performance of students of color and poverty. This in turn built off of her experience in the Oakland Unified School District. As Associate Superintendent of Student Achievement in Oakland, Dr. Waters led the instructional reforms from 2001 – 2004 that resulted in district achievement gains that out-paced the State. As a principal in the New Haven district (Union City), she designed award-winning assessment and extended day programs. Prior to her career in district administration, Dr. Waters led the state’s first new teacher program, a partnership between Oakland and the California State University, East Bay. As a professor of Teacher Education at the university, she was head of a number of urban teacher preparation programs. Dr. Waters holds a B.A. and Masters from Stanford University and a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

Michael R. McCormick

Serving as an educational practitioner for the last 25 years, as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent, and adjunct professor, Michael R. McCormick has a unique perspective that spans every level of education.  He has delivered keynotes and presentations in the following areas: implementation of instructional technology, formative assessment systems, 21st Century learning, designing 21st Century learning spaces, college/career readiness, educational leadership, educational change, improvement of graduation rates, improvement of chronic absenteeism, implementation of Social Emotional Learning, and improvement of A-G rates.

Caprice Young

Caprice Young is the Chief Executive Officer of Magnolia Public Schools. Previously she was the Vice President of Education of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. She has held numerous leadership positions, including the Assistant Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles and founding CEO of the California Charter Schools Association, among others. She has also served on the Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education Excellence (California), the Fordham Foundation, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and Apple Academy Charter Public Schools. She is a recipient of the Coro Foundation Crystal Eagle Award for Achievement in Public Service. Caprice earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University, Masters of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and Doctorate of Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar at USC and the independent co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge. Previously, he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He was deeply involved in the management of radical innovation and in the formation of corporate strategy and strategic positioning of Xerox as The Document Company. John has also received a few honorary degrees along the way, and in 2004 he was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Barry Fishman

Barry Fishman is an Associate Professor at the School of Education and School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Barry was the recipient of the University of Michigan Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize (2010), the Jan Hawkins Award for Early Career Contributions to Humanistic Research and Scholarship in Learning Technologies (2001) and the Pattishall Junior Faculty Research Award from the University of Michigan (2003). He received his AB from Brown University in English and American Literature, his MS from Indiana University in Instructional Systems Technology, and his PhD in learning sciences from Northwestern University.

M. S. Krishnan

M. S. Krishnan (“Krishnan”) is the Joseph Handleman Professor of Information Systems and Innovation and Professor of Technology & Operations at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. His research articles on Business Technology have appeared in several journals, including Management Science, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Information Week.

Vijay Shriram

Vijay Shriram serves on the Board of Stanford New Schools Corporation, which oversees the East Palo Alto Academy. She also runs the Ram Shriram family foundation, called the Dhanam Foundation, which is focused on supporting innovation in K-12 education. The foundation has invested in the Level Playing Field Institute’s (LPFI) residential summer program at Stanford and The Magic Bus Learning Institute in Mumbai, India. More recently, it has invested in Gooru to support the development and roll-out of Gooru. Vijay started her career as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher and went on to become an active participant in the Saratoga Public Schools, CA. Vijay received an M.A. in History from Bharatiyar University, India.

Zohre Elahian

Zohre Elahian has been actively involved in international development for over 10 years. With her husband, she started Schools Online, a not-for-profit organization that has brought computers to schools and introduced ICT in education in many countries around the world and within the US. As the Managing Director of Global Catalyst Foundation, she has also evaluated many projects, addressing critical needs in education, ICT and microfinance; her Foundation has provided funding to such projects in many countries. She has also served on the board of directors of Relief International for over 8 years, working on different developmental and humanitarian projects in countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and more. Prior to her humanitarian activities, she co-managed a successful private business for 15 years. In 2009, Zohre received the Unsung Heroes of Compassion award and special blessing from His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.

Jack West

Jack West has taught science for fifteen years. He cofounded the edtech research nonprofit Braincandy and has been recognized several times as a Silicon Valley innovative educator. He continues to teach part time, and he advises the digital tools search site Edshelf and works with Hapara, an edtech company that optimizes Google Apps for Education.