Connor Diemand-Yauman

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Connor works alongside his former colleague Rebecca Taber Staehelin as Co-CEO of Merit America. Prior to Merit America, Connor co-founded and led Philanthropy U, the world’s largest trainer of working adults in the social sector, and led Coursera’s strategy and business line focused on partnering with employers as hiring partners, content producers, and B2B customers. Before Coursera, he founded “Speak Smart News,” an educational program distributed to 10M East Asian learners, and taught primary school in South Africa, South Korea, and Kenya.

Connor is a lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he teaches a course on using humor in business.

His academic research on improving learning outcomes has been cited in over 250 academic articles and covered by The Economist, BBC International, and the NY Times. He is the recipient of the Pyne Prize, Princeton University’s highest distinction, and was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30. In 2018, Connor was recognized as an education and sustainable development expert by the World Economic Forum (WEF), and currently serves on their Expert Network coalition. He is a founding member of McKinsey’s Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning & Development (CAALD), a member of the Human Right’s Watch San Francisco committee, and a featured contributor on the Huffington Post.

Connor is the founder of Own What You Think, a national campaign focused on bringing accountability into the way we interact and behave online, and received his yoga teaching certification from Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nashik, India. Connor was a contestant on season 17 of CBS’ The Amazing Race and season 4 of ABC’s American Idol (and lost on both!).

In his spare time, Connor enjoys boxing, cycling, teaching inmates at SF’s County Jail #1, and writing obnoxiously long, self-referential bios in third-person.

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