Club Pitch Philly 2012 Keynote Address

Michael Chasen
CEO, Blackboard, Inc.

As chief executive officer for Blackboard Inc., Michael Chasen has provided the leadership to take Blackboard from a start-up company with just one product and a handful of clients to a company with thousands of clients, offering software and services used by millions of people around the world. His expertise managing fast growth Internet software companies coupled with a passion to enhance education through technology has been critical to Blackboard’s success.

Chasen was one of the original founders of the company in 1997. Chasen brings a solid mixture of business development and Internet engineering skills to Blackboard, and has extensive experience in educational consulting. During his tenure, he has provided both strategic and tactical direction for every department in the company. Chasen oversees the day-to-day business in addition to developing and implementing Blackboard’s vision and business strategy.

Before founding Blackboard, Chasen served as a member of the Higher Education Practice at KPMG Consulting, the world’s largest professional services firm serving colleges and universities. He worked closely with several universities and colleges to implement wide-ranging software systems and also managed high-profile online development projects within the U.S. Department of Education.

Washington SmartCEO magazine selected Chasen as its first “CEO of the Year” in 2006. Ernst & Young named Chasen and Pittinsky “Entrepreneurs of the Year for Emerging Companies in Washington, D.C.” The Kilby Awards Foundation also honored Chasen and Pittinsky as “Young Innovators” for having recognized and delivered on the demand for a high-quality, easy-to-use, and cost-effective online educational software platform.

Recently named one of DC’s most-admired bosses by Washington Techway Magazine, and one of the area’s rising stars by Washington Business Forward, Chasen has been featured in print, broadcast, and online media, including CNNfn, Fox News, Sam Donaldson’s,,, Associated Press, Forbes, PC Magazine, WUSA-TV (CBS),, Beyond Computers, Technology & Learning, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Chasen holds an MBA from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree in computer science from American University.