Leadership Team

Ulrik Juul Christensen, MD

Chief Executive Officer,
Area9 Group

Dr. Christensen is recognized worldwide as an expert in learning technology. He has pioneered adaptive learning, data-driven content development, simulation and debriefing technologies. He is responsible for the strategy of Area9 Group’s businesses, that span from purpose-built platforms for optimization of business processes for large corporations over digital product design to corporate training based on intelligent, adaptive learning.

He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997 while still in medical school. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal Medical in 2002. Dr. Christensen was responsible for Laerdal’s global learning technologies initiatives from 2002–2006. Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 Group in 2006, which has been at the forefront of adaptive and personalized learning with more than 1500 adaptive learning products based on the Area9 technologies and millions of students using the systems every semester. Area9 Education was sold to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014 and Area9 Learning was established to focus on adaptive learning in corporate and organizational environments.

Dr. Christensen was part of the McGraw-Hill Higher Education leadership team from 2011 to 2014 and the MHE Executive Leadership Team from February 2014 to 2016, where he stepped down to focus on the rapidly growing Area9 Innovation and Area9 Learning enterprises.

His primary focus is Area9 Lyceum which in January 2018 assembled all the group’s educational investments and technologies, and set out to create the 4th generation adaptive learning platform and the first generation supporting four-dimensional education.

Dr. Christensen is on the boards of LEAP Innovation and Mastery Transcript Consortium. He is also on the advisory board for Transcend Education, CharacterLab and Center for Curriculum Redesign.

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Khurram Jamil, MD

President, Strategic Initiatives
Area9 Group

Dr. Khurram Jamil is President of Strategic Initiatives where he focuses on regional expansions, joint-ventures and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training.

Dr. Jamil’s entrepreneurial experience extends over 20 years. He has successfully led dozens of teams comprising of medical professionals and educational scientists, spearheaded large development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million-dollar educational software development projects.

After earning his medical degree in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational simulators at Laerdal Medical. These simulators were used in the U.S. Department of Defense for Combat Medic Training. Following this, revolutionary screen-based simulators were created for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS) used by millions of providers.

He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, while partnering with McGraw-Hill Education to deploy adaptive learning technology. Since then, more than 25 million students have used LearnSmart & SmartBook (property of McGraw-Hill Education – acquired in 2014).

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and is involved with various cultural & art organizations to support building creative and reflective societies. He is a board member at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library – a center than develops programs to inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues. He is a board member of American Friends of SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark. He also on the Education Council of the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society.


Asger Alstrup Palm

Chief Technology Officer, Area9 Group
Chief Architect

Mr. Palm has been an early pioneer of high-performance, agile programming. He is a specialist in translating computer science from the cutting edge academic environments to the solutions that address real commercially viable needs.

Mr. Palm has been part of the current leadership team since the owners’ first company (which he was a co-owner of) where he joined the team in 1998.

Mr. Palm and his second-in-command, Mr. Tommy Olesen, have built a unique team of the absolute best, high performance software architects. Their recruitment tests are considered amongst the hardest in the industry.


Niels Vildbrad

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Vildbrad has several years of strategic business management experience incl. substantial M&A experience from healthcare-IT and educational industries. He has led cross-border teams from acquisitions through the integration phase, with focus on growth and streamlining of operations.

Prior to joining Area9, Mr. Vildbrad ran a US-division for a large listed German healthcare-IT company, where he completed a successful turnaround, re-establishing a sales organization and reduced customer churn.

He is responsible for all business development and partnerships for the Area9 Group and works closely with the executive chairman in the management of the group.

Mr. Vildbrad holds an M.Sc. in Economics & Management from Aarhus University of Denmark, and is based in Boston, MA.


Tashia Dam

Chief Pedagogy Officer

Ms. Dam has 10 years experience with developing intelligent, educational technologies and content at scale. She originally joined Area9 in 2008 and was part of the small team building the early versions of our adaptive systems. When Area9 was sold to McGraw-Hill, Ms. Dam was part of the McGraw-Hill transition team from 2014-2016.
From 2016 to 2018, Ms. Dam was VP. of Research and Innovation at Lix Technologies, and she brings significant state of the art knowledge of learning, education, pedagogics and technology.
Prior to joining Area9 in 2008, she was teaching at Institute of Pedagogics at Copenhagen University, from where she also earned her MA in Philosophy of Education & Theoretical Pedagogics.
Ms. Dam was expert advisor in the Danish Ministry of Education’s Council on Technology in Education timeboxed for 2017-2018, and she is on the Employer Panel Advisory Board at Institute of Pedagogics & Education, Århus University.
She also does peer-reviews for Association for Learning Technology, UK and regularly writes reviews of technology-philosophy books for the Danish magazine, Altinget.



Lars Kirkeskov Sørup

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Soerup combines the skill sets and experience of both start-ups and large corporate environments. Being one of the four main owners of Sophus Medical, Mr. Soerup has been on the journey building companies from scratch. When the current owners left Laerdal Medical to start Area9, Mr. Soerup stayed at Laerdal Medical to head up the R&D department and being a member of the executive management team of the company that is one of the largest emergency medical device, training and simulation companies globally

Mr. Soerup brings significant strategic leadership experience as well medical and educational product development experience.

Mr. Soerup has a M.Sc. in civil engineering from Technical University of Denmark with a specialty in electronics and mathematical modeling.


Marty Lange

K-12, Higher Education, Corporate Learning

Marty Lange is the President of Education (K-20) at Area9 Lyceum and is responsible for product vision and execution, marketing, commercial strategy, partnerships, and implementation of customer centric digital solutions to improve peoples’ lives through education and technology. Mr. Lange brings significant strategic leadership experience in addition to (K-20) educational publishing, digital product development, marketing, and go-to-market experience.

Marty is an award winning, market facing visionary for innovative educational products and services. He has been dedicated to the needs of students, families, educators and administrators for over 25 years in a variety of executive and management positions. Most recently, Marty was the Chief Product and Operating Officer for McGraw-Hill Education where he led the development of innovative, market-leading digital and print product lines across the McGraw Hill School K-12 Portfolio.

Leading up to his role as Chief Product and Operating Officer, he was Vice President, Digital Product Management and Marketing where he led platform development and customer engagement for McGraw Hill’s Higher Education business. He was Vice President, General Manager and Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, for the science, engineering and math (STEM) business unit. As the leader of STEM, Marty was at the forefront of adaptive learning solutions, playing a key role in successfully launching thousands of Area9 LearnSmart and SmartBook solutions to the college marketplace. Prior positions include Vice President of Marketing, heading up marketing strategy and Managing Director, as a product leader in the sciences.

Throughout each step in Marty’s career journey he has always been deeply engaged in work to help students achieve better outcomes through learning science and the interplay between content, learning technologies, instructional design, course delivery and implementation. Marty’s will continue to advance his passion for education and purpose to serve learners of all ages as President of Area9’s Education team.


Rachel Zaccaro

Vice President Product Experience

Rachel comes from a family of educators, is a passionate life-long learner, and brings with her a 15-year career in ensuring quality customer experiences, sales and marketing leadership, and product management for education technology. She is committed to challenging herself, finding innovative solutions, and is passionate about fostering an inclusive community.

Prior to joining Area9, Rachel worked at an education technology start-up that was founded in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Additionally, Rachel spent nearly a decade working in various capacities at McGraw-Hill Education.

Rachel holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from Wartburg College and a M.B.A. from University of Dubuque. When Rachel is not in continuing education courses or speaking competitively, you can find her volunteering, climbing 14ers (mountains) in Colorado, or traveling and sharing her experience on her travel blog. Rachel currently resides in Seattle, WA with her partner Derek and their energetic Pomeranian, Gizmo.


Kristen Raffetto

Chief of Staff

Kristen has 17 years’ accounting and finance experience.  Before joining the Area9 team in 2014, she served as the Assistant Controller and HR Manager for a private healthcare consulting firm.  She specializes in GAAP Compliance, staff recruitment, and maintaining operational excellence.

As Chief of Staff for the CEO, Kristen leads the Product Management task force, as well as overseeing US finance and HR.

Kristen holds a BS in Accounting from Bryant University.


Tommy Olesen

Executive Vice President,
Core of Technologies

Mr. Olesen was educated at the University of Copenhagen as computer
scientist, specializing in semantics and implementation of programming languages, areas crucial in building the Area9 tools that help people realize their potential with IT.

Mr. Olesen has 16 years of experience in adaptive learning solutions and computer simulation, agile software development and managing software development in geographically distributed teams.


Jan Krogh Larsen

Chief Product Officer

Jan Krogh Larsen is a senior leader in the publishing and EdTech industry on both company level and nationally. He holds a Master’s Degree from University of Copenhagen and was employed in Egmont from 2004 to 2018 (Danish media group with activities in 30 countries and 6,200 employees).

As an Editor, Editorial Director and Editor-in-chief, Jan has knowledge and hands-on-experience of all aspects of the publishing industry. With full responsibility for Egmont’s high school publishing house (edition, sales, marketing, organizational development, innovation, strategy, …) and as the architect of a national digital platform used by 10 competing publishing houses Jan has executed successful business innovation with special focus on effective publishing systems across companies.

Today, Jan is head of development and product management of the new publishing and educational platform from Area9 Lyceum. His key areas also include commercialization and partnerships in the EMEA region as well as high profile educational products in the Nordics and select regions globally.


Hayat Feghaly

Learning Architect

Hayat Feghaly joined Area9 in 2015 and designs and builds digital learning architecture. Hayat interacts with industry professionals, learning experts, and our partners; translating course content into adaptive delivery which makes it easier for employees and corporations to achieve their educational goals. She creates learning courses for corporations by translating subject matter and pedagogical knowledge into just the right product to teach it to the employees.

Prior to working at Area9 Hayat was employed with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance as an Instructional Designer. She also served as a Program Manager for Printing, Graphic Arts and Multimedia at the Australian Institute of Technology and Education. Additionally, she worked as an Instructional Designer at the Western Australian Government Department of Training and Education in Australia.

Hayat has a Masters in Learning and Development (Learning Design), a Bachelor of Multimedia and a Diploma in Assessment and Workplace Training.


Karis Amata Zecchi

Learning Architect - STEM

Karis studied Physics at the University of Florence (BSc, Italy) and at the University of Copenhagen (MSc, DK). At the latter, she did a PhD in biophysics with a thesis on polarization in biomembranes.

Karis’ educational/pedagogical experience consists of more than ten years of teaching, and includes private tutoring to students from primary school to University students and teaching assistant activity in different courses at the Niels Bohr Institute.

After her research activity, she has been developing interactive educational material in the form of virtual laboratories simulations for both Web and VR.

In addition to being a learning engineer, Karis is the learning architect at Area9 for math where she is responsible for math content and content technology.


Boris Rozenfeld, MD

Learning Architect - Healthcare

Dr. Boris Rozenfeld serves as the Senior Learning Engineer for Healthcare Education at Area9 Lyceum. In addition to overseeing and continually training a team of Medical Learning Engineers, Dr. Rozenfeld also trains our partners on best practices in learning design and ways to utilize them in Area9’s Rhapsode Platform.

Prior to his time at Area9, Dr. Rozenfeld’s experience focused on Continuing Medical Education (CME) at RMEI and Pri-Med after completing his medical degree in 2014. More recently, as a member of Pri-Med’s Clinical Team, he oversaw all areas of CME content creation and assisted with educational grant proposals and business strategy.

During his medical school training at Drexel University College of Medicine, Dr. Rozenfeld conceptualized and developed The Patient Safety and Quality Leadership Institute, the first clinical student-focused leadership training program in the US around improving the quality of healthcare. Dr. Rozenfeld’s current interests is the utilization of education theory and emerging educational technologies to develop training programs that are practical and impactful.



Marc Berg, MD

Chief Clinical Advisor

Dr. Berg is an internationally recognized and respected clinician, scientist and educator. He serves as Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Critical Care) at Stanford University and Director of the REVIVE Initiative in Resuscitation Excellence at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. He has published numerous manuscripts in over 20 years of academic medicine, primarily in critical care, resuscitation and CPR performance. In teaching, he led the 2010 American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care Pediatric Subcommittee in producing Guidelines for Pediatric Resuscitation and the PALS and PEARS courses, taken by millions of students worldwide. He has been with Area9 since it’s inception and is currently Chief Clinical Advisor for the Area9 Group.


Claus Biermann, MD MPH

Chief Medical Advisor
Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s Chief Medical Advisor, Healthcare Education. He advises on our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also advises on Area9’s efforts to partner with the healthcare industry, both for internal and external stakeholder medical education.

Dr. Biermann has a background as MD from Medical University Bochum in Germany and a Master in Public Health (MPH) from University Bielefeld in Germany. He was trained in transplantations and abdominal surgery as well as urology at several international universities, including serving at University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow for Experimental Research and has an extensive publication list.

Dr. Biermann was very active in Outcomes & Value Based Healthcare Research next to basic scientific clinical work and publications. He worked as an Executive cross sectoral in all major healthcare industries; Pharmaceutical, MedTech, IT and Services.His last position was Chief Strategy & Healthcare Policy Officer in a global renal care services company.

Claus was appointed Visiting Professor Medicine at Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences in Bochum. The HSG is the only university in Germany to offer five bachelor and master  degree programs for healthcare professions.


Solution Architecture - North America

Joe Barrow

Senior Vice President,
Enterprise Solutions Architect

Joe is a strategic leader across both academia and the professional marketplace. Over the past 20 years, Joe has focused on the impact of learning technologies, both on the organization and the individual learner.

Joe has a keen sense of extracting the greatest value from a technology in the most, clear and succinct manner. This becomes important when the impact of technology must be a contribution to the process and not a limiter.

Joe has been a senior leader at several learning companies including The Learning Edge, a Tasmania based content management startup that was later acquired by Pearson.

Joe spent five + years at the DC based, platform/technology company Blackboard during its meteoric growth from 2002 – 2007. Joe most recently joined Area9 from Amazon Web Services education team. Joe continues to explore new ways to skill/re-skill a workforce in a way that most effectively provides the outcomes an organization is looking to achieve.

Improving the learning process and linking retained skills to company objectives is Joe’s key area of focus at Area9.


Kelly M. Mccready

Vice President,
Enterprise Solutions Architect

Kelly has been working in the education space for 10 years in the fields of medical education, higher education and technology. Her focus has been designing, delivering, and promoting learning programs that prompt progress through non-traditional education paths.

Kelly joined Area9 to bring this expertise to companies who want to make their training initiatives more effective and more impactful – both for their employees and their business. She has a strong belief that the ROI needs to be apparent to both parties in order to be successful. Kelly’s prior experience using, creating and selling adaptive technology allowed her to recognize the superiority of the Area9 biological adaptive model and the cost and time savings it brings to businesses and learners.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA in International Business from European University in Munich, Germany.


Eric Weber

Senior Director of Implementation Excellence

Eric is a senior EdTech product veteran with nearly 20 years of higher education experience rooted in agile development, content strategy, assessment, design, usability, accessibility, support, training and implementation. He excels at working with companies, government entities and K-20 institutions to align their needs to cutting edge learning products and delivering the highest level learning outcomes. He has helped a countless number of learners across the globe and he plans to continue that trend as the Sr. Director of Implementation Excellence here at Area9.

Eric’s holds degrees in both computer programming and management science. He is an avid outdoorsman, published nature photographer, performing musician and a passionate philanthropist.


Ross Berger

Learning Solutions Architect

Ross Berger comes to Area9 with over 9 years of highly consultative SaaS based sales experience within the Talent Development and HCM space.

He specializes in partnering with organizations to understand their true challenges as it relates to human capital, and works with them to develop impactful, business driving solutions moving forward.

Ross focuses on delivery value while strategizing with companies around ways to increase the efficiency of their Talent Development approach, reducing the time it takes learners to reach proficiency, and provides individual learners and organizations time back in their day to drive true business impacts. Ross graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007 with a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology.


Shakeel Malik

Learning Solutions Architect, Canada

Shakeel has 16 years of learning and development experience and specializes in serving the educational needs of his clients.

He has facilitated courses on Leadership, Customer Service, Sales, Workplace Violence, Generational Dynamics, and Client Engagement.

Shakeel has spoken at the Ontario Professional Planners Institute Conference on Generational Dynamics and at the 2017 ATD Conference on Adaptive Learning.

When he’s not eating cookies and playing sports, Shakeel is working on ways to provide a super-service oriented approach to education.  His passion includes working with NGOs on support and service projects.


Matthew Evans

Learning Solutions Architect

Matthew Evans comes to Area9 Lyceum from a company called Pluralsight, a technology focused skills development company. There at Pluralsight, Matt excelled at prospecting into new business and helping existing Pluralsight customers in the enterprise space implement technology learning strategies, create career paths, and build cultures of learning.

Matt hails from Ogden, Utah in the Rocky Mountains in the Western United States. He’s a devoted husband to his wife, Aubrey, and father to his daughters Esther Rose (12), Eden (11), and his son Ashton (9). He’s passionate about learning and self-improvement. Loves to play music in a band (guitar, bass, and piano), travel, read, ski, fly fish, white-water kayak, run, and just be in nature.


Eric Maida

Learning Solutions Architect

Eric Maida is an experienced Director of Sales and has spent the past several years in the learning and talent management space. He has a demonstrated history of partnering with enterprise organizations to help improve both their technology and ability to impact their most valuable resource…their people!

He is passionate about creating and cultivating diverse relationships to continuously understand the ever-changing needs of the modern workforce. Ultimately, his goal is to channel his passion and insatiable desire to succeed in order to help his clients make a difference in their respective organizations and allow them to be successful in attaining their goals. Eric graduated from Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo with a Bachelors Degree in Business Finance.


Tomas Garchitorena

Implementation Success

Tomas is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he earned a Masters Degree in Quantitative Finance. Professionally, he previously worked with Deloitte as a consultant in Risk and Financial Advisory. Here his clients included both financial institutions and software license providers.

At Area9 Tomas is responsible for improving and increasing platform applicability. Through industry research and client-specific analysis, his goal is to better understand the needs and points of emphasis for potential clients. Currently he resides in New York City, where he is an avid runner. His interests includes the natural sciences, history, and economics.


Solution Architecture - EMEA

Jens Horneman

Senior Vice President
Enterprise Solutions Architect

Jens Frees Horneman is the Senior Vice President of Business Development, EMEA, based out of Area9’s Copenhagen office. Jens brings along more than 25 years of work experience in the private sector across many businesses, spanning from investment banking to health sciences, to educational software technologies.

Jens was notably a managing partner in Actando; a learning solutions company specialized in Business Simulations, eLearning and Serious Games tailored to the health science industry, catering to the world’s top thirty pharmaceutical companies.

Before joining Area9, Jens was an Area9 customer for five years, serving as the Global Head of Marketing and Learning at golf technology company TrackMan, where PGA graduates across the globe now learn the fundamentals about ball flight laws using Area9’s learning technologies.

After earning his college degree at Aarhus Business College, Jens also acquired an MBA from HEC in Paris, France.


Soren Ragard

Vice President
Enterprise Solutions Architect, UK

Soren is the VP of Business Development at Area9 UK and has been working at the forefront of innovation, education/learning, digital media and communication in a global context for more than two decades.

He has been paramount in implementing changes within the digital field and has an educational background in teaching, computer science, and business management. Soren has held various senior positions such as Director for Digital Strategy and Global Partnerships at LEGO Education and Director of Innovation for Enterprise Collaboration and Learning Solutions at EG-IBM. He brings a broad expertise in building learning strategies, data analysis and transforming business and user needs into effective and viable experiences.


Adrian Snook

Learning Solutions Architect, UK

Adrian Snook has maintained a focus on the cutting-edge of learning technology and learning solutions for nearly 28 years, having held roles within award-winning multimedia, virtual reality, e-learning, performance consulting, technology and soft-skills training providers as well as senior positions within  FTSE100 corporates like Babcock International Group and Capita plc.

Adrian graduated in 1996 with a BA Degree is Communication, Culture and Media from Leeds University.  He built his first career in the world of residential property with Hambro Countrywide plc, rapidly progressing to become a manager,  running a succession of agency branch offices at Congleton, Middlewich, Northwich and finally at Nantwich in Cheshire.

In 1992 he moved into the learning space, setting up the independent video production provider Dragonfly Communication, specialising in producing MPEG digital video to service what were then ‘Computer Based Training’ (CBT) companies. Adrian went on to join one of his major clients as an employee in 1996 and then moved to Stevenage-based Skillchange Systems in 1997, helping to grow this innovative CBT business to the point this was acquired by VEGA Group plc.

In 2000 he was headhunted by US SaaS e-Learning pioneer DigitalThink Inc, to extend their reach to the UK. One year later he joined The Training Foundation as Director of Corporate Development.  At that point this new organization was being spun-off from the Institute of IT Training as a start-up brand, twinned with the TAP framework of train-the-trainer courses and the brand-new new Certified e-Learning Professional (CeLP) programme.

Several years of success culminated in the business being awarded its first Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation in 2005.  Adrian was successively promoted to become Operations Director, Director of Professional Services and finally Deputy CEO.

In 2009 Adrian founded Learning Accelerators Limited, an independent consultancy offering specialist advice and support for learning, training and learning technology providers and their investors on strategies for commercial success.  Babcock International Group plc and Skills2Learn Limited,  a market-leading specialist in Virtual Reality learning solutions, were both valued early clients. After providing an increasing level of support as an external consultant Adrian joined the Skills2Learn team as Director of Learning Solutions in 2012, helping to grow the business to the point of acquisition by Babcock International Group in late 2013.

He spent the next five years as Head of Consultancy for Babcock, leading an outstanding team of learning and development professionals working on challenging international learning and performance projects across land, sea, air and nuclear environments.

After a spell as Client Director with Capita Plc and a period acting as an independent strategic advisor to Area9 Lyceum, Adrian joined us as UK Director of Learning Solutions in February 2020.


Therese Svanholm

Implementation Success

Therese is a former associate professor at one of the largest Business Colleges in Denmark, where she taught marketing, innovation and English for eight years.

Therese has several years of experience working with tech companies on their business development teams. For the past three years, Therese has been working for the Danish publishing industry selling and implementing adaptive digital learning solutions at all levels in the education space. Therese is part of the European Business Development team and with her expertise in didactics, adaptive learning and business strategy, she is helping customers implement and run solutions.

Therese holds a master’s degree in International Business, and a bachelor’s degree in English and a Diploma of Education.


Hania Baramki

Managing Director,
Area9 Lyceum MENA

Passionate, highly energetic and experienced executive with a solid track record of accomplishments in leading organizations, penetrating new markets, building partnerships, driving solution led sales across diverse sectors including Public Sector, Finance, Telecoms and Construction. Hania recently joined Area9 Lyceum as the Managing Director for the MENA region. Hania is an experienced leader with multi-national experience with fortune 500 companies, she is a trained systems’ and leadership Coach, and is skilled in change and conflict management.

Prior to joining Area9, Hania was the MEA Regional Commercial Director for McGraw Hill Education. During her tenure, Hania restructured the Go-to-Market and increased market penetration by 30%, developed key strategic alliances and partnerships to provide adapted solutions for both the Higher Education and K-12 sectors across the region positioning MHE as a learning science company.

Prior to joining McGraw-Hill Education, Hania spent ten years working for Cisco in different leadership positions; Head of Cisco Capital Middle-East, Africa and Russia CIS, Director of Business Development for the Education Vertical across EMEA and Vertical Sales lead for Smart Cities across Emerging markets. During her tenure, she structured financial solutions of over $1 billion, leading into incremental revenues for Cisco, designed the strategy and Go-to-Market for Smart Cities and Education verticals, positioned Cisco as a trusted advisor with C-level executives across Private and Public Sector institutions and generated incremental sales of over $100 million.

Before joining Cisco, Hania was a senior consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in Paris where she advised and assisted C-level executives of Fortune 500 companies with their diversification and Go-to-Market strategies.

Hania’s work experience spanned across many countries; Turkmenistan, South Africa, Jordan, Hungary, UAE, France and Mexico, making Hania a truly multi-cultural individual, who understands and appreciates the different value systems.
Hania holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Union College, Schenectady, NY, and an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management, Case-Western Reserve University, CL, OH. She is fluent in Arabic, English and French.


Khalid Al Kaff

Solution Architect

With more than nine years experience Khalid Al Kaff has progressed through different roles in sales and business development in the HR consulting industry.

Prior to joining Area9, Khalid worked in sales and business development for executive education focusing on change management and digital talent management solutions.

Khalid manages the business development for Area9 in the MENA region.


Solution Architecture - D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach

Management, D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach has over 25 years of experience in training, coaching and personnel development with a focus on sales and concept development. He is managing director of a renowned training institute with locations in Hamburg and Leipzig as well as subsidiaries abroad.

In the past, he was also a member of the board of the Baltic Chamber of Commerce.

He last brought in his trainer expertise as author of the book “Dynamisch Verhandeln – Entscheiden, was andere entscheiden” (“Dynamic Negotiating – Deciding What Others Decide”).

At Area9 he is the Managing Director of Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig.


Ulrike Dienemann

Management, D-A-CH

Ulrike Maria Dienemann has several years of experience in business development, organizational & personnel development in communication, as well as in university & training services sectors.

Before joining Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig, she worked for many years as a site manager at a training institute and was responsible for business development at a private business school.

At Area9 Lyceum GmbH, Ms. Dienemann is responsible for managing the Leipzig office, personnel recruiting and development, organizational development and the expansion of the European partner network.

Ms. Dienemann holds a master’s degree in communication and media sciences as well as business administration from the University of Leipzig.


Martin Holmes

Product and Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Martin Holmes has experience in a number of different fields all relating to Education. Before moving to Germany in 2017, he worked as a Teacher in the UK. Mr. Holmes lead the implementation of a new computing curriculum and provided regular training to teachers on the topic of incorporating the use of technology and e-learning in the classroom. Following this, Martin Holmes joined a training institute in Germany, specializing in corporate training and e-learning. This role involved collaborating with sales teams and developers, as well as a large partner network in Europe in order to plan, coordinate and manage the success of training and e-learning projects with clients.

He is now Product and Implementation Excellence Manager at Area9 Lyceum GmbH. Mr. Holmes works closely with the team of learning engineers as well as the product development team to ensure the customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning.


Knut Sonnabend

Implementation Success, D-A-CH

Knut Sonnabend has more than 20 years of sales experience and brought in his expertise especially in the logistics and building materials sectors. Most recently, he was very successful in the sales of technical solutions for a leading mobile phone provider in Germany. He expanded his area of responsibility due to his high sales experience and also supported the personnel development for numerous teams within the company. He was significantly involved in the conception of trainings as well as the onboarding of new employees.

In his subsequent position at a training institute, he deepened his knowledge in the area of coaching and personnel development and was responsible for the sales of a video-based online training platform.

Since the beginning of 2019, he has worked first as an Account Manager and today as a Business Development Manager for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position he is responsible for the development and implementation of customer satisfaction and customer development processes.


Daniel Hong

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Daniel Hong has more than five years of experience in B2B sales. His previous work experience includes sales for a well-known Korean car manufacturer while he was part of a team at a renowned airbag and seatbelt manufacturing company.
More recently, he was a sales manager at an Adtech company, in the Google My Business industry, where he was able to further sharpen his skill set.
Daniel is now part of the solution architecture team at Area9 Lyceum based in Leipzig.


Torsten Meyer-Efland

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Mr. Meyer-Efland has more than 20 years of successful sales experience in the automotive industry. For a well-known German premium car manufacturer, he was responsible for the sales results in various metropolises and was instrumental in implementing the expansion strategy in the commercial segment. He has played an intensive role in the development of customer relationship management for retail.

Prior to this, he gained many years of sales and management experience in the music industry. Mr. Meyer-Efland has an excellent network in the automotive industry and maintains relevant contacts to decision makers in the German industry. At Area9 Lyceum he is a member of the sales team and drives the distribution of Area9 Lyceum in the industry.


Solution Architecture - India and Southeast Asia

Amar Duggal

Office of the President,
Strategic Initiatives

Amar has over 20 years of in-depth experience in building & scaling Technology-led organizations. He founded Pyxis Solutions in NYC which became a niche Software Testing Company, servicing the Capital Markets. Amongst its marquee clients included names like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Credit Suisse. Amar exited the company in 2010.

Prior to establishing Pyxis, Duggal held various leading consulting roles for software testing teams to test proprietary and online trading platforms at Goldman Sachs, JPMC, Bankers Trust, Merrill Lynch and AIG .

Since 2013 Duggal has held exec management and management consultant positions to play an active on hands role for goto market strategies for market penetration and business development for very disruptive technology platforms at various stages of their corporate development lifecycles. Though having a Global footprint, Amar has keen interest in building the business to business contacts in the US- India, South East Asia Corridor, and establishing a market play in these economies for unique, disruptive technology platforms.

Duggal represents the Office of The President at Area9, working on Strategic Initiatives concentrating on Business Development between the US and India corridor and refining Sales and Business Development best practices.


Deepankar Tiwari

Managing Director
India & Southeast Asia

Deepankar Tiwari, has over 24 years of experience in the Automotive / Mobility space. He spent 22 years with the Tata Group. Post acquiring his Engineering degree in Metallurgy & Material Science, in 1995, he began his career with the Tata Group joining as a management trainee with Tata Motors Limited at their commercial vehicle division. Subsequently, he joined the prestigious Tata Administrative Services (TAS) and spent a year getting experience across different operating companies of the Group, across different sectors. He spent a year at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad perusing an executive management program.

In 1999, when Tata Motors was setting-up its passenger car business, Deepankar was selected to be a part of the founding team. In this capacity, he played a key role in the introduction of some of Tata’s popular car brands including Tata Indica, Tata Indigo and Tata Safari. Thereafter, Deepankar headed the marketing, Sales and Servicing verticals for the passenger car business across geographies and also for the international markets.

Between 2005-2008, Deepankar was a key member of the team that designed, developed and launched the world’s lowest cost car, the Tata Nano. During the same  period, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and Deepankar was part of the integration team to assimilate the businesses and for initializing the JLR  operations in India. He was also part of the team which negotiated the architecture of Tata Motors – FIAT Group JV where in a JV was set up in India to produce Tata / Fiat products and retail them using the established Tata Motors retail network.

In 2012, Deepankar was drafted into the Office of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, as a Vice President to lead globally the Business Development Initiatives & Policy narrative of Tata Group, supporting the Groups Operating Companies from Tata Sons Group Centre.

In 2017, Deepankar moved to Uber Technologies Limited as the Asia-Pacific Head for Vehicle Solutions & Business Development. Here he was responsible for all external partner facing engagements, including strategic collaborations with global automotive players head-quartered out of Asia Pacific.

Based out of Delhi, Deepankar leads Area9 Lyceum’s business development efforts in India and Southeast Asia.

Personally, Deepankar has an ear for Indian classical music and is himself a Tabla (Indian percussion instrument) player. Deepankar lives in New Delhi with his wife Priyanka, who is an intellectual property and patents attorney and when not travelling, he’s learning the many uses of the internet from their 9 years old son, Shaurya.


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President and Founder, American Diesel Training Centers