Key People

Jim Teicher, CEO and Executive Director

Jim Teicher

Jim Teicher co-founded and is CEO of CyberSmart! Education, a social enterprise providing innovative digital learning solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. CyberSmart Education develops massively scalable ways to bring quality learning to more schools – including classrooms without electricity. CyberSmart Education’ activities have already impacted over 10 million students, teachers, and communities globally.

Jim's career includes leadership roles in the education, telecommunications, and information publishing sectors. For the past 12 he has focused on his grassroots work with CyberSmart Africa, a social enterprise, harnessing mobile technology and content provide the first practical model for massively scalable school learning to meet the needs of sub-Saharan Africa's fast-growing youth population.Partners include the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Senegalese Ministry of Education, USAID and Orange.

Previously Jim was founder and CEO of Stockalert, Inc., the award-winning interactive financial information company. Prior, he served as CEO of Smart Tone, Inc., an innovator in the field of Internet biometric security, was Division Vice President of The PaineWebber Group, the global financial services firm, a business development and product manager at AT&T. Earlier Jim worked as a project implantation specialist consultant for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris.

A TEDx presenter and popular speaker at industry conferences sponsored by USAID, ISTE, eLearning Africa and SIIA; Jim currently serves on the advisory board of the US Congressional Internet Caucus. He is co-founder of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a member of the Mobile (m) Education Alliance and a recent member of the consumer advisory board of McAfee Corporation. Jim completed all of his course work towards a doctorate in Education from Cornell University and holds a Master's Degree in Education from Cornell and Master's Degree in Communication from Ithaca College.

Mala Bawer, Executive Director

Mala Bawer

Mala Bawer is cofounder and Executive Director of CyberSmart! Education, recognized internationally as the forerunner in digital literacy learning and related online professional development.Mala pioneered the development and growth of the CyberSmart K-12 Student Curriculum and the supporting CyberSmart Online Professional Development. Used by millions of students globally, the curriculum was the very first-of-its kind standards-based online safety and digital literacy program. Its ground-breaking research-based strategy of positive empowerment is now modeled internationally. The CyberSmart Student Curriculum was sold to Common Sense Education.

Most recently Mala headed CyberSmart’s team that conceived, piloted and directed the development of a nation-wide ground-breaking multimedia learning program in the MENA region for the government of Qatar. The program embeds the instruction of digital literacy into daily classroom instruction in support of Arabic, English and Ethics curriculum instruction. Delivered through an interactive digital platform, it provides 300+ learning activities and 100+ uniquely customized learning resources including videos, animations and interactive games.

She is also the Producer of the award-winning feature film "Tall as the Baobab Tree" -- empowering girls in sub-Saharan Africa to stay in school and viewed by millions worldwide.

Previously, Mala co-founded the award winning interactive financial information service, Stockalert, Inc., and was part of the senior management teams that launched America’s first consumer online service and North America’s first networked interactive public video kiosk service. Mala received her MBA degree from the Darden Graduate School at the University of Virginia and her BA degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Barry Mansfield, Director of Education

Barry Mansfield

Barry Mansfield's hands-on expertise in the areas of educational technology and instructional design have made him an invaluable resource as a coach and mentor to hundreds of teachers in thousands of schools and classrooms worldwide. Most recently, Barry directed programs for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Technology in Education Consortium (MAR*TEC) at Temple University's Center for Research in Human Development and Education (TUCRHDE), one of ten federally funded regional education laboratories. While at MAR*TEC Barry designed, implemented, and evaluated instructional technologies, Web resources, videos, and online tools for K-12 teachers and students to help them successfully infuse technologies into classrooms. During his time with MAR*TEC, Barry also co-created the innovative and acclaimed Reflection Connection, an online collaboration tool for teachers.

Barry holds a master's in education degree from Temple University. He is currently earning a doctorate in educational technology at the University of Delaware. Previously he was Academic Director at the Caledonian School, the premier language institution in Prague, Czech Republic, where his responsibilites included a professional development program for over 200 teachers.

Kim Merlino, K-12 Education Consultant

Kim Merlino

Kim Merlino, a well-known and highly-respected curriculum consultant was responsible, in her prior position as Curriculum Director, for managing the development of the research-based CyberSmart! Student Curriculum, purchased in 2010 by Common Sense Media. In addition, her expertise in instructional design supported the creation of CyberSmart! Online Professional Development. Currently, Kim consults for CyberSmart! Africa and CyberSmart! Professional Development. Beginning her career as an environmental educator in California and then as an elementary school teacher in the New York area, Kim eventually turned to writing instructional materials for children. She then embarked on a successful 20-year career editing nationally distributed instructional programs for major educational publishers, including Silver Burdett Ginn, Scholastic Inc, and Houghton Mifflin Company. Most recently, as an educational consultant for both nonprofit organizations and publishers, Kim developed plans for curricula that meet national and state education standards. She is an active member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Science Teachers Association, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

Kim received her master's in education from Rutgers University and her bachelor of science degree from Cornell University.

Diane Cordell, Chief CyberSmarty

Diane Cordell

Diane Cordell took her first online course through CyberSmart! and refused to leave. She presently serves as a facilitator and editor for the company. For the past ten years Diane has been district librarian at Fort Ann Central School in New York State. Prior to her 20-year career in university, public, and school libraries, Diane worked as a social worker, antique and bookstore employee, child care provider, and special education assistant.

Diane received her bachelor's in English from the College of White Plains and her MLS from C. W. Post. She spent a deeply satisfying summer studying at Oxford University and still reads any fiction she can find set in that glorious city.

Roland Dietz, Senior Advisor Business Development

Roland Dietz

As an international business leader and chief executive, Roland delivers great results and shareholder value through product and business model innovation, international commercialization and business transformation initiatives. At Elsevier, the world's largest scientific-technical-medical publisher, he led the development of new business models, drove product innovation through in-depth customer engagement, and directed the successful commercial roll out of the ScienceDirect product line around the world. He has personally forged key relationships with governments consortia and key universities and corporations around the world resulting in a dramatic increase in access to, and usage of, key education literature and scientific research. Coupled with his broad prior experience as a founder of a software company and marketer of computer hardware; Roland offers unique expertise in creative strategy development, innovation, technology deployment and execution for information based businesses.

Roland is a dual citizen of the Netherlands and the USA. He speaks five languages and holds a M.Sc. degree in Artificial Intelligence from Delft University of Technology and did candidates work in Biomedical Engineering. He has furthered his executive education through Harvard, Stanford and Oxford (Templeton College) Universities.