MIND Research Institute names co-founder Matthew Peterson as CEO

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The nonprofit MIND Research Institute’s board of directors named Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., its new chief executive officer. Ted Smith, the high-tech business leader and entrepreneur who has led the organization for more than a decade, is retiring as CEO and chairman at the age of 84. Smith will remain chairman until a new one is elected, and then continue as a member of the board.

Peterson co-founded MIND Research Institute in 1998, along with Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., and Mark Bodner, Ph.D. from the University of California. Peterson, who as a child struggled with traditional language-based instruction due to dyslexia, created MIND Research’s ST Math software to enable students to learn math through his unique non-language-based visual approach. The revolutionary ST Math program is proven to raise students’ math scores on standardized tests, and currently reaches more than 630,000 students. Peterson earned his doctorate in neuroscience form UC Berkeley, and undergraduate degrees in biology, electrical engineering and Chinese language and literature from UC Irvine.

“I’m excited to take the helm and guide MIND Research into the next phase of its evolution,” said Peterson. “But it’s important to note that we would not be at this point today without the leadership of Ted Smith, whose strategic contributions put ST Math on the national map.”

Smith has served as MIND Research’s chairman of the board since 2003 and CEO since 2004, volunteering his tech industry expertise and experience to help grow MIND Research. Under his leadership, ST Math expanded its reach from about 10,000 students in California to 630,000 students across 35 states. During his tenure, he spearheaded the philanthropic Math Initiatives, which introduced ST Math to 15 of the nation’s largest urban school districts through grant programs to high-needs schools.

“It’s been very rewarding to work with MIND Research and its unique and expanding ST Math instructional software, and watch it ignite the interest and success of large numbers of students across America,” said Smith. “Our country needs a way to develop more engineers and scientists to meet the shortage and this program is a key catalyst which is getting traction at scale.”

A committee is being assembled to identify a new chairman of the board over the next 60 to 90 days.

Additional executive team promotions include the following: Greg Blevins, who has been with MIND Research since 2005, was named chief financial officer. Ingrid Ellerbe, who has been with the organization for more than six years, was named chief of staff and will continuing to serve as interim vice president of engagement. Nigel Nisbet, who has been with MIND Research since 2010, has been promoted to vice president of content creation.

About MIND Research Institute

MIND Research Institute is an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. MIND's programs currently reach over 630,000 students and 25,000 teachers in 2,050 schools in 35 states. For more information, visit www.mindresearch.net.