Mike Magee is President of Minerva University. Prior to joining Minerva, he was founding CEO of Chiefs for Change, a non-profit organization supporting leaders of many of the nation’s largest and most innovative K-12 public education systems. Previously, Magee co-founded and was CEO of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies (RIMA). As CEO of RIMA, he built a statewide network of regional, racially and economically diverse public schools while successfully advocating for sweeping changes to state education policy.
Before starting RIMA, Magee taught American literature and philosophy for a decade at Haverford College, Wheaton College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2004, his book, Emancipating Pragmatism, won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Studies. He is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, and for the past several years has moderated seminars for both the Pahara Institute and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Magee holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s in political science and English from the College of the Holy Cross.
Teri Cannon serves as the Founding President of the Minerva Institute. Having first joined Minerva in 2012, she has led the development of student affairs, accreditation, services, and operations. Cannon brings more than 35 years of experience in higher education in both undergraduate and graduate settings and is deeply knowledgeable about accreditation, student achievement, and institutional excellence. As a higher education consultant for more than 30 institutions, Cannon worked closely with a wide array of universities and organizations on issues related to accreditation, innovation, governance, student success, diversity, and organizational change.
Immediately before joining Minerva, Cannon was Executive Vice President of the WSCUC and earlier was dean of two law schools. She has served on the boards of several organizations and accrediting agencies and is currently on the Board of Governors of Antioch University. Licensed to practice law in the state of California, Cannon wrote Ethics and Professional Responsibility for Paralegals, which is now in its eighth edition. Cannon earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a JD from Loyola Law School.
Provost & Chief Academic Officer Vicki Chandler is recognized as one of the foremost geneticists in the world, having conducted critical research in the field of plant genetics for more than three decades. In 2014, she was appointed to the National Science Board by President Barack Obama for a six-year term. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, received a Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco, and a B.A. from the University of California Berkeley.
Prior to Minerva, Chandler served as the Chief Program Officer for Science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, while also teaching at the University of Oregon and the University of Arizona. She is passionate about helping students develop the skills they need to be successful in their future careers, part of which is directing them to be curious, lifelong learners.
Junko Green is the Chief Discovery and Communications Officer for Minerva University, overseeing marketing, outreach, and communication initiatives for the institution. Before her current role, Junko served as Minerva’s Head of Global Marketing and Director of Marketing.
Passionate about education reform, Junko has an extensive background in marketing, technology, and education. Junko was Director of Marketing for the K-12 and Higher Ed divisions at Teachscape, a company focused on effective teacher evaluation, and a founding member and Design Team member for Oakland’s Urban Montessori Charter School.
Junko earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. She joined Minerva in 2013 and has been instrumental in building the globally diverse classes of bright and motivated students.
Kayla Krupnick Walsh joined Minerva in 2020 as the Dean of Students. In her role, she oversees the Student Life team across the residential cities as they design and implement engaging, immersive, and challenging experiences for the Minerva student community. Krupnick Walsh has worked in Student Affairs for over 15 years including at New York University and Golden Gate University. Her work in Student Affairs has focused on creating opportunities for practical application of skills as well as building community for online and remote students. She earned her M.Ed. in Psychological Counseling at Teachers College, Columbia University and her B.A. in Urban Education from Vassar College.
For Krupnick Walsh, the best part of her job is that she gets to spend time thinking about ways to build engagement and connection in order to support student growth.
As Chief Financial Officer, Nikolaus Pelka is responsible for managing the financial health of the Minerva Institute and its operations. He comes to Minerva with comprehensive financial and operations management expertise with extensive experience in the global educational, nonprofit, and research sectors.
Before joining Minerva in 2019, Pelka served as the Executive Director of the Strategic Management Society, the preeminent global scholarly association in the academic field of strategic management. Earlier, he served as Associate Dean for Administration at the GISMA Business School, a multi-stakeholder cooperation co-running Purdue University’s full-time and Executive MBA program in Hannover, Germany.
In 2000, he accepted a position as Vice President of Finance and Administration at YFU International Exchange in Washington, DC after serving as the Executive Director in Germany. Pelka earned a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Cologne in 1992.
Ben Nelson is the Founder of Minerva, and a visionary with a passion to reinvent higher education. Prior to Minerva, Nelson spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, where he helped build the company from startup to the world’s largest personal publishing service. With over 42 million transactions across 22 countries, nearly five times greater than its closest competitor, Snapfish is among the top e-commerce services in the world. Serving as CEO from 2005 through 2010, Nelson began his tenure at Snapfish by leading the company’s sale to Hewlett Packard for $300 million.
Prior to joining Snapfish, Nelson was President and CEO of Community Ventures, a network of locally branded portals for American communities.
Nelson’s passion for reforming undergraduate education was first sparked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he received a B.S. in Economics. After creating a blueprint for curricular reform in his first year of school, Nelson went on to become the chair of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE), a pedagogical think tank that is the oldest and only non-elected student government body at the University of Pennsylvania.