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IMS Staff

IMS is a global, non-profit member organization with a highly experienced core staff who support and facilitate our member organizations around the world in the full range of IMS activities.

Rob Abel, Ed.D.
Dr. Rob Abel is the Chief Executive Officer of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a nonprofit collaboration of the world's leading universities, school districts, government organizations, content providers, and technology suppliers, cooperating to accelerate learning technology interoperability, adoption, and impact. Rob has been the CEO of IMS since February of 2006.

Rob is a recognized expert on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for learning with over 40 years high tech and education market development experience. During Rob’s tenure IMS has experienced dramatic growth in terms of members, revenues, and achieved significant adoption of IMS work by leading regional education communities worldwide. IMS has grown over 13x since Rob became CEO and has risen to become one of the world's best resourced and dynamic standards-setting consortia.

Prior to IMS Rob was Senior Vice President at Collegis (now Ellucian Managed Services), the leading provider of ICT services to U.S. higher education, where he was responsible for online and academic services provided to over 60 U.S. institutions. Rob is also a seasoned high technology software development, business development, market development and venture investment veteran. As Senior Director at Oracle Education he was a leader and innovator in the development of online learning architectures and related standards. Rob also held executive positions at National Semiconductor, TRW and Hughes Aircraft.

Rob holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, a Masters degree in Management from Stanford, a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a Baccalaureate degree in Computational Physics from Carnegie Mellon University. Rob was honored with the TRW Chairman's Award for Innovation in the early 1990's for leading advancements in real-time networking and distributed software.
Beatriz Arnillas
Director of Digital Curriculum Innovation
Beatriz started her career as an art professor. She became interested in technology as a way to substitute toxic materials in the printmaking labs, and as an opportunity to deliver blended and online core courses for non-art majors. Subsequent positions included higher education administration (assistant chair, director), and designer of blended and online courses. Beatriz switched to adult education when she was Head of Education Production and Outreach at the University of Houston's College of Technology (COT), where she developed and managed the COT industry certification and continuing education programs. After U. of Houston, Beatriz was a Global Sr. Instructional Designer in the oil and gas industry. When she returned to education, it was to work in K-12, as director of IT-Education Technology for the Houston Independent School District (HISD), and later as the Global Sr. Education Advisor for a global EdTech company.

Beatriz has delivered keynotes and consulted with education leaders in the US, Germany, Norway, South Africa and China. Before joining IMS as Director of Digital Curriculum Innovation in Oct. 2021, Beatriz designed Architecting and Adv. Architecting on AWS courses in the AWS Training and Certification Org (global AWS training.)

Beatriz double-majored in Education and Art at the Catholic University of Peru, and has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Kentucky.
Dan Blickensderfer
Technical Program Manager
Dan Blickensderfer joins IMS Global as Digital Credentials Technical Program Manager, which includes the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) and Open Badges. Dan brings experience in higher education and expertise in enterprise technical communication, including instructional design, educational technology, software technical publications, and faculty development.

Dan’s career in higher education has focused on providing access to educational opportunities and using affordances of technology in the service of that access. This has included work in asynchronous online learning, project-based learning, open educational resources (OER), competency-based education, and development of credentials that “stack” into degrees.

Dan was most recently the Director of Learning Experience at the University of New England (UNE), leading the design team developing and maintaining the catalog of the fully-online graduate school’s programs. Prior to UNE, Dan helped create and deliver SNHU's initial online competency-based education (CBE) degree programs.

He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Maine.
Mark Christensen
Product Marketing Director
Mark Christensen has worked in K–12 and higher education in various roles throughout his career from teacher to administrator to marketing communications for both established and startup edtech companies. With over 20 years of experience, Mark helps institutions and software companies navigate today’s dynamic and changing educational landscape. He holds his MBA from Rivier University and his Ed.D. from Plymouth State University/Argosy.
Tim Clark
Vice President, K-12 Programs
As the Vice President of K12 Programs at IMS Global, Dr. Tim Clark assists schools and districts in the adoption of IMS standards and practices to enable interoperable digital learning ecosystems. He also provides strategic leadership for K12 in IMS Global in collaboration with K-12 institutional and state department of education members of the consortium.

Formerly, Tim served as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Digital Learning for Chicago Public Schools where he provided leadership and guidance for teaching and learning through the design and implementation of an equitable districtwide digital curriculum. Tim also served as the Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. He has been an educator for 25 years and has taught all grade levels, ESL, and gifted learners. He is the author of the BYOTNetwork blog and has been featured regarding Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) in NBC News, EdTech Magazine, eSchool News, Scholastic Administrator, THE Journal and many other news outlets.

Tim holds a Doctor of Education in Leadership for Learning with a concentration in Instructional Technology, and his research and dissertation focused on designing online learning communities for elementary students. Throughout his career, he has been a vocal advocate for the implementation of instructional technology, digital content, and curriculum in order to increase achievement and motivation, to encourage collaboration, to facilitate critical thinking, and to construct engaging learning environments. 
Karen Daughtery
K-12 Program Manager
Karen Daughtery serves as the K-12 Institutional Program Manager at IMS Global where she facilitates program activities for multiple Innovation Leadership Networks. She works closely with individual members to accelerate the uptake of IMS open standards and practices to enable next generation digital learning.

Karen began her career in the K-12 setting. While in her position as an Instructional Technology Specialist in Forsyth County (GA), she held a variety of leadership positions at the school and district levels before transitioning into a corporate educational technology role.

Karen holds a bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia State University and a Master of Science in Technology Integration from Walden University.
Andrea Deau
Senior Director for Higher Education Partnerships
Andrea Deau is the senior director for higher education partnerships where she works closely with members to meet the challenges they face in the rapidly growing and evolving digital teaching and learning landscape. She has a robust professional history serving as an academic innovation leader focused on student-centered education and experiences.

Andrea began her career as a classroom teacher and recently served as the assistant vice provost for online lifelong learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, launching the first online undergraduate degrees for the university. She has led teams to build the infrastructure for the UW Flexible Option competency based education programs, while also facilitating a new comprehensive learner record technology centered around digital credentialing, interoperability standards, achievements and competencies. Additionally, she has directed enterprise academic technology in higher education, and drove member activities and engagement across WiscNet, Wisconsin’s Research & Education Network member cooperative. She holds an MS in Educational Leadership and a BA in Education.
Sandra DeCastro
Vice President, Community Programs
Sandra has 25+ years of experience developing, implementing and managing marketing and community development programs in the corporate and higher education markets. As Vice President of Community Programs for IMS Global Learning Consortium, Sandra is responsible for developing and executing member engagement activities, developing the program for the annual IMS Global Learning Impact Leadership Institute, and coordinating the organization’s marketing and PR efforts. Prior to joining IMS in 2012, Sandra served as General Manager of Association and Client programs at Ellucian (formerly SunGard Higher Education) where she had overall responsibility for providing strategic direction and management for the company’s participation at industry and user events with a focus on developing productive relationships with the leading higher education associations. Sandra graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1985 with a B.S. degree in Marketing and Management.
Tracy Fandel
Finance and Administration Manager
Tracy graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 1994 with a BSBA in Accounting. While attending Northeastern University at night, Tracy worked full-time as an Accounts Receivable Manager at a Newton, MA Thermometry Manufacturing Company. In 1995, Tracy became the Accounting Manager at a Newton, MA Insurance Agent as well as a part-time Accountant for a local car dealership and two gas stations. In 1998, Tracy started consulting for several local and international companies which include: a Boston based Real Estate Company, two Israeli Internet companies, a Concord, MA Antique Dealer, a Boston based Marketing Agency and a Toronto, Canada based Manufacturing company with employees in the US, Canada, Taiwan, Mexico and the UK. In 1999, Tracy started consulting at IMS doing all the Accounting functions. Tracy left IMS for eight months and returned Full-time in January 2001 as the Finance & Administrative Manager. Some of Tracy's functions at IMS include: Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Revenue Recognition, Produce monthly & quarterly Financial Statements, Maintain all Payroll and HR functions, Work with CPA's for the Annual Financial Audit and Tax returns, Reconcile bank and investment accounts, and Maintain all Member records and website access.
Gill Ferrell
IMS Europe Program Director
Dr Gill Ferrell supports the IMS member community in Europe. In a career spanning over 30 years she has managed the implementation of administrative IT systems in higher education and led research and edtech projects in areas such as assessment, learning design, course management, learner records and learning analytics. She directed a UK-wide support service for Jisc providing advice, guidance and training in ICT for further and higher education providers in the UK and, as an independent consultant, she has been involved in projects of national significance. For almost 20 years she has volunteered with EUNIS fostering knowledge exchange and developing communities of practice across European higher education.

Gill holds British and French nationalities and lives in south-west France.
Maria Girard
QA Engineer
Maria Girard works as a QA Engineer and her prior experience includes e-learning product management. Before joining IMS, she also worked as a web and mobile application QA test engineer for a startup educational streaming platform.

Maria is originally from New Hampshire and lives currently in Denver, Colorado.
Markus Gylling
Solutions architect, IMS Europe
ith 20 years of experience in standards and software development, Markus' primary engagement areas in IMS are accessibility, digital content and data model development. He is also engaged in IMS Global's operations in Europe.

Prior to his work with IMS Global, Markus worked as CTO of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and as CTO of the DAISY Consortium, as well as head of the unit for process and architecture at the Swedish National Agency for Education.

Markus lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.
Dereck Haskins
Senior Software Engineer
For the past 17 years Dereck has worked in a variety of fields as a developer, team leader and data architect. Comfortable in a variety of programming languages and frameworks, his favorite non-work activity is picking up yet another programming language or database system and working through the tutorials. Dereck holds a Bachelors of Science in Theoretical Chemistry from Wake Forest University.
Susan Haught
Kelly Hoyland
Higher Education Institutional Program Manager
Kelly Hoyland began her career in K-12 education where she served in roles as teacher, coordinator, and director. Her focus has been to find ways to use technology to support teaching and learning. Most recently she served as the Director of Learning & Client Technology Services at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where her department was responsible for supporting academic technology and end user support. She has also served on a variety of local and statewide committees and workgroups. Kelly holds the Certified Educational Technology Leader (CETL) certification, bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Business Education, and a master’s degree in Educational Technology.
Cara Jenkins
Marketing Communications Director
Cara Jenkins serves as the marketing communications director for IMS Global, leveraging more than 15 years of experience in higher education technology marketing. In her role, Cara works closely with IMS staff and members to effectively communicate IMS activities and progress to increase member engagement, recognize member contributions and leadership, and increase awareness of the IMS value proposition to increase market adoption of IMS interoperability standards.

Prior to joining IMS, Cara led various marketing programs and initiatives at Ellucian (formerly SunGard Higher Education) with a focus on defining and tracking program success metrics. As go-to-market director, she had responsibility for solution messaging, new product launches, awareness, and lead generation campaigns for 15 solutions that spanned three product lines and included several SaaS model and cloud applications. Prior to her role as go-to-market director, she was the director of events and association programs, tasked with driving the strategic direction of an event portfolio, which at its peak contained over 30 national conferences and had the potential to reach over 25,000 customers and prospects. In addition, she directed all aspects of content development, programming, speaker engagement, and audience acquisition for an 8,000 person global customer conference.

Cara is actively involved as a member of the planning committee for The Women in Tech Summit (Philadelphia), whose mission is to support the community of women currently working in technology and to help pave the way for women and young women who want to enter the industry.

Cara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from The Catholic University of America.
Adam Joseph
Administrative Assistant
Adam graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 with a B.A. in Sociology. Prior to joining IMS, Adam worked in social services and served as a resource coordinator for rural elderly communities and in medical settings. Adam enjoys assisting nonprofits through administrative support and organization.
Alan Lail
Software Engineer
Alan is a Java developer with more than 6 years of experience developing REST-based web applications. He has a penchant for rapid prototyping and iteration, making him an asset to projects that might change and grow unexpectedly.

Before IMS, Alan spent many years working in Healthcare Information Technology. He utilized his skill set to help deliver products and services designed to assist patients in better understanding and navigating the often confusing industry.

Alan resides with his wife Erynn in Durham, North Carolina. He is a lover of cats, motorcycles, music, and enjoys making regular visits to thrift stores on the weekends searching for old and long-forgotten video games.
Mark Leuba
Vice President, Product Management
Mark Leuba is a technology leader in education, with particular expertise in online higher education. Through his former firm, Pathway Technology Partners and affiliates Mark provided advisory and strategy services for leading institutions, foundations, non-profit and for-profit education organizations. A recent engagement was TIP - Technology Interoperability Pilot project sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mark also consulted to BMGF and others assessing innovations in digital courseware and personalized learning products, competency-based education, strategic program management and product selection, organizational due diligence and education technology market analysis.

Prior to forming his consultancy Mark served as Chief Technology Officer for Moodlerooms, a leading provider of open source learning management solutions where Mark led their transition to cloud-based platform services - at the time the largest migration of its kind in online education. As the Chief Information Officer for American Public University System from 2005-2009 Mark developed and executed a five year plan laying the technology foundation for unparalleled growth in the University’s online programs. Before joining APUS, Mark held leadership roles in corporate IT, including nine years as Vice President of Applications for Random House, the world’s largest consumer trade publisher.

Mark's role in IMS Global is to guide its product management strategy and execution, building on the substantial success of the IMS team. Mark received his B.A. in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Baltimore.
Kevin Lewis
Project Manager
Kevin is a Marine Corps combat veteran who has served proudly in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom. Kevin made his decision to join the Marine Corps after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Towers. Kevin served for 8 years  and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant. After the military, Kevin worked in all areas of security and access control systems.

Kevin started his career in education as an IT customer service representative where he was responsible for the break fix process at two high schools. He also held “Tech Tuesday” training where he was able to coordinate with principals and faculty to train them on all district resources. Kevin then moved on to work as an Education Technology Specialist and headed the district’s student data privacy, Internet safety and security initiative. In the two years of heading this initiative, Kevin was able to raise awareness about student data privacy and influence education technology products to improve upon their privacy practices. 
Miles Lyon
Software Engineer
Miles has nearly 20 years of software development experience working with many languages and frameworks in varied industries including healthcare, chip fabrication, music and photography, but has spent the last 6 working in the education sector.  It's an industry he hopes to be a part of for a long time.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry / Biophysics and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He lives in Cohoes, NY and enjoys hiking and biking when the weather is favorable and skiing and snowboarding to pass the time during NY winters.
Lisa Mattson
Chief Operating Officer
Lisa has over twenty years experience in managing, developing, and implementing successful online services and business operations for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Lisa has worked as a Statistical Researcher, as Manager of Electronic Media at the American Kennel Club, where she created the organization's first website and online customer service department, and she has also been Technical Marketing Analyst and Webmaster for an engineering software company. After joining IMS in 1999, she has acted as the company's Chief Operating Officer since June of 2004. Lisa manages the day to day activities of IMS to ensure operational effectiveness by aligning resources to strategic directions, ensuring effective internal and external communications, managing the internet infrastructure and coordinating delivery of services. Lisa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in History and a Masters of Library and Information Science. Lisa also has a Masters in Media and Communications Psychology from Touro University Worldwide.
Leslie McCafferty
Technical Integration Specialist
Leslie has over twenty-five years of experience developing, enhancing, integrating and supporting database applications.  Most of that experience has been in the educational arena, in both the Higher Education and K-12 environments. 

Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College and Master of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Joshua McGhee
Technical Program Manager
Joshua McGhee serves as Technical Program Manager for IMS Global, leveraging more than 15 years of experience in technology-related fields. Joshua serves as the TPM for OneRoster, LTI, Edu-API, Caliper, and OpenVideo. In that role, he oversees the development, promotion, and support of various integral EdTech interoperability standards.

Prior to joining IMS Josh was a senior business analyst with mdsl, a market leader in the telecom expense management field. In that role, Josh was responsible for designing and managing integrations between the mdsl platform's procurement tool and various vendor systems as well as end-user experience through the procurement process.

Originally from the Florida panhandle, Josh currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, his son, and their dog enjoying the turning of the 4 seasons.
Andy Miller
Technical Standards Architect
After a brief stint as a structural engineer Andy Miller moved into the software industry as a software developer. Prior to joining IMS, Andy worked for as a product manager responsible for K-12 platforms and assessments. Before, Andy ran his own company developing software products for e-commerce platforms and volunteering at his local schools. It was during this time he saw the potential for technology to improve education.

Andy holds a Bachelor of Science and Engineering in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He lives and works in Portland, Oregon in the great Pacific Northwest.
Bracken Mosbacker
Technical Standards Architect
Bracken Mosbacker is the Technical Standards Architect for Caliper and Common Cartridge. Bracken has worked most of his career in education and loves participating in the Open Education and technical standards communities. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and developer groups promoting technical integrations and open education.

Previously, Bracken worked at Lumen Learning and Instructure, where he worked on a broad range of products and led efforts in platforms and integration strategies.
Phil Nicholls
Software Architect
Phil Nicholls has over twenty years of experience in the software industry having worked as a software developer, product manager and consultant. Prior to joining IMS, Phil worked for Oracle Higher Education as a technical product manager responsible for Student Information System integrations for the Student Cloud. Before Oracle, Phil owned his own consulting practice which specialised in e-learning interoperability standards, and his clients included government agencies, standards bodies and vendors.

Phil graduated with an MSc (with distinction) in Software Systems Technology from the University of Sheffield in 1996. In his spare time he's an avid tabletop gamer.
Matt Pasiewicz
Matt has more than twenty years experience leveraging technology in both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  He's held roles in both the book industry and in higher education.

Prior to joining IMS he worked for EDUCAUSE, Ingram and host of other organizations.  He's a software engineer with a penchant for product management.  Over his career, he's been certified as both Scrum Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and achieved several Pragmatic Marketing certifications.  
Gentry Riggen
Software Engineer
Gentry Riggen has over 6 years of experience in crafting web and mobile applications. Prior to joining IMS, Gentry worked in a myriad of industries ranging from Department of Defense to a small startup building fitness related software.

Gentry was born and raised in beautiful Colorado and still lives there today. When not writing software, he is spending time with his wife and son or in the gym working out.
Colin Smythe
Chief Architect

Colin has a degree in Applied Physics (1979) and was awarded a PhD for his work on spread spectrum local area networks (1985); both degrees were from the University of Durham, UK. During the past 40 years he has worked in both the academic and the industrial world. He was a lecturer at the Universities of Durham and Surrey, worked for several years at Logica Ltd., was the founder and managing director of the systems consultancy Hyperion Systems Ltd and is currently a Director and Principal Consultant at Dunelm Services Limited. From 1992-1999 he was a member of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield, UK where he was Head of Department and Chair of Computer Science. Since October 1999 Colin has been consulting for the IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc. He is currently the IMS Chief Architect and as such he is responsible for the managing the development and maintenance of the full suite of IMS specifications. During the last twenty years he has worked on a number of public and private sector e-learning projects. In 1999 he was made a Fellow of the British Computer Society and became a Chartered Engineer.
Bruce Umpstead
Director, State Programs
Bruce Umpstead joins IMS Global to drive partnerships and engagement with State Education Agencies (SEAs), an area of expertise "at-scale" he brings from strategy consulting and seven years serving as Michigan's State Educational Technology Director. Bruce built his entire career in corporate eLearning, higher education, and K12 public education, cutting his teeth in "EdTech" by spinning up operations for an eLearning company before transitioning to directing a major Math/Science Partnership at Michigan State University, his alma mater.

His aim in joining the IMS team is straightforward: let's make interoperability simple, secure, and ubiquitous. Engaging SEAs in the work is a critical next step and Bruce is eager to lead that effort. He lives in Mid-Michigan with his wife and two daughters and roots for the Michigan State Spartans. He holds a bachelor degree and MBA from MSU.
Monica Watts
Director of K-12 Engagement
Monica serves as a Director for IMS Global, providing a voice for K-12 institutions and bringing together technology providers to achieve digital equity and interoperability at scale. Before IMS, she led the sales team at SAFARI Montage. Monica is passionate about helping school districts integrate technology successfully. She graduated from Florida State University and received a Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida.

Monica lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. When not advocating for interoperability in K-12, she is enjoying all the coastal Carolina ethos offers with boating, fishing, and diving.