Mr. Shai Reshef

University of the People President

Shai Reshef is the President of University of the People (UoPeople) the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, accredited online academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education. Grounded in the belief that knowledge is a key ingredient of world peace, UoPeople provides access to collegiate-level studies to qualified individuals regardless of geographic, financial or societal constraints.


An educational entrepreneur, Reshef received a PhD from the Open University in the UK and has over 25 years of experience in the international education market. From 1989 to 2005, he served as Chairman of the Kidum Group, a for-profit educational services company. Between 2001 and 2004, Reshef also chaired KIT eLearning, the online learning partner of the University of Liverpool and the first online university outside of the United States.


President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople. This includes becoming a member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration; being named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business; selected by OneWorld as one of its ‘People of 2009;’ awarded an Ashoka fellowship; joined UN-GAID as a High-level Adviser; granted membership in the Clinton Global Initiative; presented at TED; granted an RSA Fellowship; selected by The Huffington Post as the Ultimate Game Changer in Education; nominated as one of Wired Magazine’s 50 People Changing the World; and selected as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Global media coverage includes the New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR, Forbes and more.


An expert on the intersection of education and technology, Reshef has spoken internationally at numerous conferences including the Clinton Global Initiative; DLD: Digital, Life, Design; TEDxOxbridge; World Economic Forum; EG5 Conference; TEDxKC; Google’s Higher Education Summit; EMV Human Values meeting; The Economist’s Annual Human Potential Summit and the Schools for Tomorrow Event for the New York Times. He has also lectured at Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Oxford, among others. Reshef holds a M.A. in Chinese Politics from the University of Michigan.