Khan is one of 11 high profile appointees.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, has been named by President Barack Obama as one of 11 new Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).
These 11 men and women will be dispatched around the world by the White House, with the objective of spurring entrepreneurship in foreign countries and growing small businesses. This is part of an initiative by the Obama administration to encourage the creation of new businesses and jobs not just in the US, but globally. The new Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship will work closely with the US Department of Commerce and the US Agency for International Development, which is headed up by Rajiv Shah.
The announcement of the inaugural appointees for the PAGE project came from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, on Monday. Elaborating on what else the Ambassadors will do, Pritzker’s press release said that “members have agreed to participate in an ongoing dialogue with policy makers globally to discuss how to create an environment where creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can grow and thrive.”
Pritzker added that they “will also participate in outreach and mentorship activities to help promote start-up culture, and energize their own personal and professional networks to challenge and inspire budding entrepreneurs and raise awareness of the many resources available to them.”
Khan is the founder and executive director of the Khan Academy, a company that offers affordable tutoring courses via short videos that are posted and distributed online. Khan’s goal in creating the Academy was to help level the playing field among students who have the ability to pay for high-end tutoring and test prep courses, and those who come from more precarious financial means.
Born and raised in New Orleans, to a parent from Calcutta and another from Bangladesh, Khan was valedictorian of his high school, scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT, went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees (studying mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering), and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was also his class’s president.
The other 10 appointees, in addition to Khan, are as follows:
• Rich Barton, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Zillow
• Tory Burch, Chief Executive Officer, Tory Burch; Founder, Tory Burch Foundation
• Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Revolution
• Helen Greiner, Founder and CEO, CyPhy Works; CoFounder, iRobot Corporation
• Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
• Quincy Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Quincy Jones Productions
• Daphne Koller, Co-Founder and President, Coursera
• Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chobani
• Nina Vaca, Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Technical Resources
• Alexa von Tobel, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, LearnVest