Pearson VUE leadership

Our Senior Executive Team, supported by the broader Global Leadership Team, are respected professionals throughout the testing industry and in their communities.

Senior Executive Team

Robert D. Whelan

President, Pearson Assessments

Over the course of an impressive 36-year career, Mr. Whelan has made significant contributions to Pearson and the entire testing industry.

As the President of Pearson’s Assessment businesses, he has overall leadership responsibility for the Pearson VUE, Pearson Clinical Assessment and Pearson School Assessment businesses. Through successful communication of a clear vision and a team-based collaborative approach, he has seen the business grow to become the global leader in computer-based assessments.

Prior to heading Pearson Assessments, Mr. Whelan was Managing Director for Pearson VUE. Under his leadership, Pearson VUE today delivers millions of exams in a global network of 20,000 test centers and through secure online technologies from nearly every corner of the world. In recognition of these achievements, Mr. Whelan has received the prestigious Award for Professional Contributions and Service to Testing from the Association of Test Publishers (ATP).

Bob received his BA from the University of Alabama in finance and economics.

Farzana Ashraf

Senior Vice President, Product Development and Technology

As senior vice president of product development and technology, Farzana is responsible for business success by creating technology strategy, developing innovative products and services, building high performing talented teams, and leading transformational change that drives rapid results.

Farzana guides Pearson VUE’s enterprise systems & security, product development & engineering, business analysis, product quality, and project management teams. With her talented teams and more than 18 years of experience in the industry, Farzana brings vital technology trends and market leadership to Pearson VUE clients across the globe.

Farzana serves as an adviser and mentor to technology start- ups across the twin cities area. She is also an active member of the local community helping women technologists form mentoring and sponsorship opportunities.

Farzana holds a BS in computer science and an executive MBA from the University of St. Thomas – Opus College of Business with a focus on global business growth.

Gene Carlson

Vice President, Human Resources

Gene Carlson leads the global Human Resources team to develop and drive people strategies that support the business needs through close alignment of business and HR initiatives.

As a member of Pearson VUE’s Senior Executive Team, he works to align people initiatives with the company’s high-growth strategic objectives. Gene’s responsibilities include human capital strategy and execution, talent acquisition, performance management, employee/leader development, organizational design and organizational effectiveness. His areas of expertise include organizational transformation, developing high performing teams, and developing innovative people solutions that drive business results.

With over 20 years of HR experience, Gene has held Human Resources leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Best Buy (a Fortune 100 company) and Deluxe Corporation, leading transformation efforts to help drive the growth of the organizations. Gene holds a BA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Gary Gates, PhD

Senior Vice President, Global Business

An international business expert, Gary Gates is responsible for leading Pearson VUE’s strategic efforts outside North America.

In this vital role, he works to incubate and grow Pearson VUE international opportunities by establishing partnerships, recommending acquisitions, and collaborating with established Pearson businesses located in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, South Africa, India, China, Japan, Korea, and Australia.

Gary’s considerable experience launching international enterprises includes development, commercialization, and internationalization of innovative technology which transformed how governments and other constituents source traffic information. He has also negotiated and established joint ventures and has won new business on a global scale. Prior to joining Pearson VUE, he held senior management positions with British Nuclear Fuels Plc and British Energy. Gary received his PhD in Inelastic Scattering in Gas-Surface Dynamics from the University of Liverpool and graduated with honors from the University of York with a BS in Theoretical Physics.

Vicki Greene

President and Chief Executive Officer of GED Testing Service

Vicki is the president and chief executive officer of the GED Testing Service, the organization that, since 1942, has been responsible for developing and publishing the GED® test, the assessment traditionally used throughout the United States and Canada as the basis for awarding high school equivalency credentials.

During her tenure, Vicki has been instrumental in expanding the international usage of the GED test, which is now taken by students in more than 90 countries.

She previously served as the organization’s vice president, where she led a wide array of functional teams including marketing, technology, operations, sales, and public relations.

Prior to joining GED Testing Service, Vicki was vice president of operations at Deluxe Corporation, where she was responsible for creating and delivering end-to-end consulting services to financial institutions.

Vicki currently serves on the board of directors of the Creating IT futures Foundation. She holds a BA in public relations from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Bridget Herd

Senior Vice President, Client Program Management

Bridget Herd is the leader of program management, she makes certain that the service expectations of all clients are met or exceeded by her team of expert program managers.

She is a results-oriented professional with more than 18 years of success in all aspects of program management, including marketing, development, launch, and program transition. Bridget has an added focus of bringing ongoing process improvement and quality assurance to the company’s growing business.

Bridget is also responsible for leadership of Pearson’s “Partnership in Innovation” program, which involves evaluating, integrating, and managing vendors and their technologies to supplement Pearson VUE’s system capabilities. Her in-depth understanding of clients’ testing challenges—resulting from direct oversight of their programs—allows her to leverage technology partners who can both meet Pearson VUE’s client needs and integrate well with our internal processes.

Corey Hoesley

Senior Vice President, Global Operations

Corey Hoesley is responsible for all the operations that support Pearson VUE’s business functionality.

In addition to his position on the company’s senior executive team, he provides daily and strategic leadership for Pearson VUE global operations, including the company-owned and –operated testing channel, security, customer service, technical support desk, network operations, information systems, quality control, data integrity, and fulfillment. Corey has proven himself to be an effective leader of multiple operational departments in his tenure. His nearly 20 years of operational management experience and testing and assessment business experience offer a unique combination to our clients.

Corey holds a BS in Mass Communications with a minor in Economics from St. Cloud University.

Doug Kennedy

Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Doug Kennedy directs strategic planning, implementation, management, and control of all Pearson VUE financial activities.

In addition to leading global teams of finance and accounting professionals, he manages merger and acquisition efforts, the test center real estate portfolio, and the legal department. He also serves on the company’s senior leadership team and supports the GED Testing Services® and Pearson Credential Management business units. He has more than 25 years of financial leadership experience.

Before joining Pearson VUE, Doug served as division controller at supercomputer manufacturer Cray Research, held roles of increasing responsibility in financial planning, marketing, and sales analysis at Northwest Airlines, and was involved in financial planning for Fingerhut Companies. Doug holds a degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and an MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business.

Paula Nassif, EdD

Head of Business, Evaluation Systems

Paula serves as the Head of Business for the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, which specializes in providing services for educators across the stages of their careers. She has extensive experience in the development and administration of licensure and certification examination programs.

Prior to joining Pearson, Paula served as Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of National Evaluation Systems, Inc. where she oversaw the organizational development of the business and was responsible for design and delivery of assessments, standards, and quality. Paula earned her bachelor's degree with distinction in Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College and holds an Ed.D in Educational Research and Measurement from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Jon S. Twing, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Pearson Global Assessment Services

As Senior Vice President of Pearson Assessments, Dr. Jon S. Twing is responsible for all education assessment development at Pearson. He focuses on the development, validity, and efficacy of learning systems that integrate measurement and instruction with the goal of improving student learning across the world.

Jon has more than 35 years of experience in experimental psychology, psychometrics, research, and assessment development. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, where he guides staff, students, and policy regarding the scientific measurement of cognitive functions.

He serves or has served as a member on numerous boards, committees, and service organizations, including The College Board Psychometric Panel, American Educational Research Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, the Association of Test Publishers, and many others.

Don Wagner

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Don Wagner is a pioneer in the computer-based testing (CBT) industry and a key driver in Pearson VUE's success.

As one of the architects of the company's carefully modeled network of testing centers, he champions Pearson VUE's commitment to providing the consistency, quality and control required by credentialing organizations.

As senior vice president of business development, he is responsible for strategic planning and business development activities serving the professional licensure and certification, information technology, government, human resource, academic and regulatory markets. Don has more than 20 years of broad technical experience helping clients implement CBT solutions and build successful testing programs. He is also responsible for Pearson VUE's global strategy for recruiting and managing third-party test centers.

Don continues to be an active supporter of industry organizations and initiatives that promote the benefits of computer-based assessment to clients and candidates worldwide. He holds a BS degree in Business Administration, Information Systems and Management from the University of Cincinnati.

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