Our People

The Cooney Center is supported by a team of founders, staff, fellows, and advisors, and we work closely with our colleagues at Sesame Workshop. While our collective expertise ranges from developmental psychology and digital media research to media production, we all share a common vision.

Core Staff

Michael Preston, PhD

Executive Director Bio

Catherine Jhee

Director of Web and Strategic Communications Bio

Kiley Sobel, PhD

Research Scientist Bio

Lili Toutounas

Senior Manager of Administration Bio

Senior Fellows

Jordan Shapiro, Ph.D

Senior Fellow Bio

Monica Bulger, PhD

Senior Fellow Bio

Mary Madden

Senior Fellow Bio

Sarah Vaala, PhD

Senior Fellow Bio

Jason Yip, PhD

Senior Fellow Bio

Rafi Santo, PhD


Board of Directors

Joan Ganz Cooney

Chairman of the Executive Committee, Sesame Workshop Bio

Jeffrey D. Dunn

President & CEO, Sesame Workshop Bio

Michael H. Levine, PhD


Lloyd N. Morrisett, PhD

Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Sesame Workshop Bio

Steve Youngwood

President, Media & Education and Chief Operating Officer, Sesame Workshop Bio