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

Zaza Kabayadondo, PhD

Director of Industry Partnerships Bio

Leslie Berkowitz

Coordinator 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

Co-Founder and Honorary Lifetime Trustee, Sesame Workshop Bio

Lloyd N. Morrisett, PhD

Co-Founder and Honorary Lifetime Trustee, Sesame Workshop Bio

Steve Youngwood

Chief Executive Officer, Sesame Workshop Bio

Sherrie Rollins Westin

President, Sesame Workshop Bio

Michael H. Levine, PhD

Senior Vice President of Learning and Impact at Noggin Bio

Esteban Sosnik

Managing Partner, Reach Capital Bio

Ellen Ann Wartella, PhD

Professor; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication; Professor of Psychology; Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University Bio