Jeffrey D. DunnPresident & CEO, Sesame Workshop
Jeff Dunn has spent his career leading brands and organizations through time periods of significant change, financial growth, and societal impact.
Currently, Dunn is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sesame Workshop. He leads the nonprofit educational organization in creating content that helps children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Dunn directs the Workshop’s efforts around Sesame Street’s global presence as well as initiatives that address a wide range of issues for children and families alike. He joined the organization in the fall of 2014.
Most recently, Dunn served as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow at Harvard University. Harvard’s ALI Fellowship is a unique, university-wide program that each year selects a small group of executives from around the globe to spend a year studying and reflecting on solutions to large-scale societal problems such as improvements in educational quality and healthcare delivery.
Before being named a Harvard ALI Fellow, Dunn served as the President and CEO of HiT Entertainment from 2008 until it was sold to Mattel in 2012. HiT was one of the world’s leading kids entertainment producers and rights-owners, as well as the largest supplier of kids programming to PBS, with a portfolio of properties including Thomas & Friends, the number one boys’ preschool property in the world.
Prior to leading HiT, Dunn was the Chief Operating Officer of the Nickelodeon Networks group and the President of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises. At $2.5 billion in revenues, the Nickelodeon Networks group was the largest business unit within its parent, MTV Networks, and was comprised of Nickelodeon, Nick@Nite, TV Land and Spike TV. Over more than 12 years, Dunn’s business strategies were an integral part of Nickelodeon’s successful development as a worldwide kids entertainment brand. Dunn led Nickelodeon’s start-up and expansion into international markets, new networks and a wide range of new businesses beyond television.
Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises was a business that Dunn began and grew to over $4 billion in retail sales. It included divisions operating in the feature film, consumer products, new media, magazine and book publishing, live theatrical, hotel, restaurant and theme park industries. Under Dunn’s leadership, Nickelodeon became the first TV brand to build a significant business off network. In less than 10 years, He built Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises into the world’s largest new media business for kids, the largest kids publishing brand, the largest producer of live family stage shows and the third largest licensing business in the world.
Prior to joining MTV Networks, Dunn was in charge of marketing for one of the United States’ largest banks, The Bank of Boston. Dunn began his career at Time Magazine, where he served in a variety of marketing and general management positions.
Dunn graduated with honors from Harvard College and received his MBA degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he was named one of the top leaders of his class.