About Us

University by Industry

We are building an online university, "by Silicon Valley", that:

  • teaches the skills that industry employers need today

  • delivers credentials endorsed by employers

  • educates at a fraction of the cost of traditional schools

With industry giants—Google, AT&T, Facebook, Salesforce, Cloudera, etc.—we offer Nanodegree programs and credentials, designed so professionals become Web Developers, Data Analysts, Mobile Developers, etc. Our students acquire real skills through a series of online courses and hands-on projects.

Interested in working with us? View our openings.


Leadership Team

Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun

Co-Founder, CEO

Sebastian has set his sights on democratizing higher education. Co-founder and CEO of Udacity, Sebastian is also a Research Professor at Stanford University and a Google Fellow, as well as the inventor of the autonomous car and project lead on Google Glass. Sebastian has been named the 5th Most Creative Person in Business (Fast Company), among the 50 Smartest People in Tech (Fortune), and highlighted in 50 Best Inventions of 2010 (Time).

Vish Makhijani

Vish Makhijani

President, COO

Vish believes the time is now to make higher education more effective, accessible and useful. Prior to Udacity, Vish led high growth organizations at companies like Zynga, Yandex and Yahoo. Vish is a dog lover and aspires to become a scratch golfer but is a realist.

Francois Dufour

Francois Dufour

VP Marketing

Francois loves connecting people to essential services and content that help them become more knowledgeable and successful. He believes bringing world-class education to as many people as possible worldwide will create incredible economic opportunity and that Udacity is ideally positioned to achieve this. He also believes in learning by doing and in learning from the best do-ers. Prior to Udacity, Francois led Marketing for Talent Solutions at LinkedIn and worked in marketing for Yahoo! Messenger, Groups, Mail, and Mobile.

Kathleen Mullaney

Kathleen Mullaney

VP Careers

Motivated by $30K in student loans, Kathleen joined Udacity in 2011 to help make education more affordable and useful to students all over the world. Having spent the better part of 3 years heading up the course development team building awesome learning experiences, she is now focused on getting graduates of Udacity programs new jobs they love.

Clarissa Shen

Clarissa Shen

VP Business Development

Clarissa is an optimist about technology's impact on education, having co-founded a K-12 start-up, and led digital change at Apollo Group. In her past life she led a contemporary dance company and was in management strategy with Monitor Group. After discovering CS101, Clarissa had so much fun learning to code that she wanted her kids to have that same opportunity in the future—so she joined Udacity.

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Advisory Board

Carl Bass

Carl is president and chief executive officer of Autodesk, Inc., a maker of professional 3D design software and consumer applications, and was a co-founder of Ithaca Software, which commercialized HOOPS, a 3D graphics system.

William Bennett

"Bill" is former United States Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush. In 2000, he co-founded K12, a for-profit online education corporation which is publicly traded.

Steve Blank

Steve is a seasoned Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Translation: he has failed and—more often—succeeded, in a 21-year career building 8 Valley startups, including several with major IPO's. Along the way, he's learned an incredible amount, and has spent the last decade sharing what he's learned with entrepreneurs all over the world, including here at Udacity in EP245.

Cathy Davidson

Cathy is a Professor of English at Duke University since 1996 and was Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University from 1998 to 2006. In 2010, President Obama nominated her to a six-year term on the National Council on the Humanities. She currently serves on the Board of Advisors to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Digital Media and Learning" initiative.

Peter Levine

Peter is partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a veteran executive from leading enterprise software companies. He is a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business and has also taught at MIT's Sloan School of Management. As an avid ice climber and mountaineer, he compares his mountaineering expeditions to building a company.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Ms. Laurene Powell Jobs is founder and chair of Emerson Collective, which works with social entrepreneurs and organizations to promote improved education, immigration reform, social justice and conservation. Ms. Powell Jobs also serves as president of the board of College Track, an after-school program she co-founded in 1997 to prepare underserved high school students for success in college.

George Zachary

George is partner at Charles River Ventures with 20+ years of operating and investing experience in computing and consumer technology. At CRV, he focuses on building consumer internet and infrastructure companies. He is on the board of Stanford SSE, Stanford's StartX, and is an advisor to the X PRIZE Foundation.