Our team

IDEA arose out of the belief that technology should be personalized, interactive, and intuitive, and should help people exchange meaningful information that leads to a greater understanding of the world. Our team reflects that belief and embodies the organization’s commitment to design and implement strategies to enrich learning, and to provide others with the tools to do the same.

Michael Douma (Executive Director)

As the Executive Director of IDEA, Michael Douma combines two of his passions: fulfilling the educational promise of technology and increasing linguistic, scientific, and cultural literacy. Michael leads IDEA in researching, developing, and refining mobile apps and technological tools to promote both informal and formal learning.

Horace Dediu (Financial Director)

Since the inception of IDEA in 1999, Horace has guided our financial investments as well as our technology strategy. Horace is an experienced industry analyst, has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and runs the popular Asymco blog.

Greg Ligierko (Lead Developer)

Greg builds interactive experiences for end-users. His recent work has centered on creating a fun and mesmerizing experience in the WordFlare game, with cool action, engaging animations, and meaningful puzzles. On the team since 2005.

Sean Liu (Developer)

Sean’s recent work has centered on textual analysis and supercomputer processing to generate relationships between millions of words and concepts, and the development of the Definicious and Wordakin reference apps. On the team since 2007.

Ovidiu Ancuta (Lead Designer)

Ovidiu creates the user experience in IDEA’s projects. Balancing functionality and visual design, he surmounts technical and design challenges in order to escape convention. He brings consistency and direction to IDEA’s web and mobile projects. On the team since 2006.

Sally E. Smith (Communications Director)

Sally works to develop and refine our messaging, from the content within our projects, to the language and outreach we use to share with the community and promote our work. Her career arc reflects her strong commitment to accessibility and advocacy. On the team since 2005.