Strategic Advisors

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William T. Ethridge

William T. Ethridge is an Advisor of Pearson plc, and has served as the Chief Executive of Pearson's North American education business since March 2008, and was previously CEO and President of Pearson’s U.S. Higher Education, International, and Professional Publishing Group, from March 2003. He was responsible for Pearsons global leadership in Higher Education, English Language Training, and Professional Publishing. Prior to joining Pearson in November 1998, Mr. Ethridge held several positions at Prentice Hall. He also serves as Chairman of CourseSmart, a publishers' consortium and as Vice Chairman of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). He served as an Executive Director at Pearson plc since May 1, 2008, as a Director of Interactive Data Corp from October 2001 to May 2009.

Wang Xuefeng

Wang Xuefeng is one of the original founders of Ferry Venture Capital, established in 2010, and currently holds the position of the company’s partner. His main investment fields are consumption upgrades and mobile internet. Previous investments include, Aidaijia, SEEMILE,, Dongmeng,, Slicejobs, and Scorecool among others. Before he founded Ferry Venture Capital, he spent many years in management consulting and equity investment. In the past, he has held positions at Co-Bridge Capital, Accenture and BearingPoint. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from Tsing Hua University in 2000 and 2002, respectively.


Matthew Tanzer

Matthew Tanzer is Tyco’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining Tyco, Matt spent 12 years with General Electric in a variety of compliance roles, as well as several years in private practice. Matt has extensive international experience, having worked on compliance and transactional issues in many countries and nearly every continent.  Matt earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. He is past Chair of the American Bar Association’s In-House Counsel Committee (2006-2007), as well as past Chair of the ABA Air Quality Committee (2003 – 2005).


Patrick McGinnis

Patrick McGinnis is a venture capitalist and writer based in New York City. His firm, Dirigo Advisors, provides strategic advice to investors and businesses operating in Latin America and other emerging markets. He is also a 10% Entrepreneur himself, with a portfolio of Angel investments and Advisory positions in companies around the world. These companies include ipsy, Bluesmart, SatMap and Bunny, Inc. An avid traveler, Patrick has visited more than 70 countries and has written on travel, technology, and business for, The Huffington Post, Boston Magazine, and Business Insider. He has spoken on entrepreneurship, venture capital, private equity, and emerging markets investing in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Mozambique. Patrick graduated magna cum laude from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he served a one-year appointment as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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David Benoit

David Benoit has amassed over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, operations, and senior management in the education technology, summer program, and publishing industries. Among his successful ventures include Lightspan, Co-nect and Connections Academy. Dave served as President and CEO of CDI America, a multinational organization that develops software, recruitment, and distribution in English language learning. Dave also launched Middlebury Interactive Languages to create the first foreign language-focused environment in 3D gaming. Dave later moved to a consulting role, working on projects such as building an international strategy for Envision EMI, developing a sales strategy for The 95 Percent Group, and building a growth strategy for New Mind Education. In 2012, he joined the Chicago board of the Positive Coaching Alliance.







Terry K. Peterson

Terry K. Peterson, PhD, is a seasoned educator, internationally known speaker, published scholar, community organizer and a parent. His research focuses on education reform, mainly how extracurricular and afterschool opportunities have a positive impact on student and community engagement, and has published numerous studies, reports and articles in this field. In 2014, he was named one of the 25 most influential Americans in the after school field by the National Afterschool Association.

After working as a science teacher both nationally and internationally, he moved to senior leadership and advisory roles in order to build exchange initiatives and implement important national education reforms. In this role, he served as the Chief Education Advisor to the Governor of South Carolina as well as Chief Counselor to the United States Secretary of Education – both for eight years. He is the executive editor of Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a comprehensive compendium of studies, reports and commentaries by more than 100 thought leaders. He is a Senior Fellow at the College of Charleston and the Riley Institute at Furman University, and is currently the Chairman of the National Board ofDirectors of the Afterschool Alliance.


Dr. Yong Zhao

Dr. Yong Zhao is an internationally respected scholar, author, and speaker. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has designed schools that cultivate global competence, developed computer games for language learning, and founded research and development institutions to explore innovative education models. He has published over 100 articles and 20 books, including World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. 

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He is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education and was named one of the 10 most influential people in educational technology by the Tech & Learn Magazine in 2012.     He currently serves as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he is also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Until December, 2010, he was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence.

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Jeff Wang

Jeff leads a team at the Asia Society that fosters collaboration between young people in the US and China. This includes: over 100 pairs of sister-schools, frequent publications on youth partnership, and the design and implementation of the annual official US-China State and Province Chief Education Officers Dialogue—a component of the US-China High Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange initiated by Secretary Hilary Clinton in 2010.

Jeff has organized the annual US National Chinese Language Conference since its inception in 2008. He advises organizations and leaders in both countries on building innovative, substantive and mutually-beneficial partnerships. He designs study missions and learning programs which enable thought leaders and practitioners to understand one another’s society better. Before joining Asia Society in 2007, Jeff worked at the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and Department of Education, on the State’s academic exchange initiatives with Baden-Württemberg, Germany and Shandong, China.


LEAGUE Academic Advisors