McGraw-Hill Education today announced the appointment of Stephen Laster as the company's chief digital officer. Laster will lead the company's digital initiatives, including creating compelling digital learning experiences for students and inspiring creative innovation across all aspects of the organization. The appointment of Laster is the latest representation of McGraw-Hill Education's transformation from a provider of print-based education materials to a developer of digitally-based products and services.
Laster joins the company from Harvard Business School, where he served as chief information officer since 2006. In that position, he transformed the school's technology organization and delivered critical new systems and services, while establishing the school's first educational technology group focused on digital learning product development.
Laster will report to Lloyd G. "Buzz" Waterhouse, McGraw-Hill Education's president and chief executive officer, as the process continues to establish McGraw-Hill Education as an independent, digital learning and education services company later this year.
"The digitization of education provides our company with a major opportunity to make learning more accessible, engaging and effective," said Waterhouse. "Stephen is the ideal choice to lead our digital initiatives going forward as we continue to leverage technology innovations and capabilities and create breakthrough teaching and learning experiences."
Said Laster, "McGraw-Hill Education has extensive expertise and decades of experience with instructional design and has invested substantial resources in the digitization and online delivery of programs and platforms that engage students, help them learn concepts and skills, and study more effectively. I have spent most of my professional career developing and enhancing digital learning programs at virtually all levels of education, and I am very excited to join this world-renowned organization and contribute to such an important endeavor."
During his time as Harvard Business School's CIO, Laster also served as president of Intelligent Solutions, a consulting firm he founded, which provides guidance to C-suite executives on IT strategy and digital learning. At the firm, he developed a digital learning product framework and successfully assisted with the rollout of several large-scale digital learning programs. From 1998 to 2006, he held a number of leadership positions at Babson College, including chief technology officer for the school's digital learning company, and director of curriculum innovation and technology. Laster, a member of the board of directors of the Sloan Consortium of Online Learning, holds a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College and a MBA from Babson.