Sesame Workshop Promotes Robert Knežević & June Lee

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind “Sesame Street,” has promoted Robert Knežević to Vice President, International Project Manager and Dr. June Lee to Assistant Vice President of Research in the Global Education department.

Press release from Sesame Workshop:

New York, NY -- Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has promoted Robert Knežević to Vice President, International Project Manager and Dr. June Lee to Assistant Vice President of Research in the Global Education department.  In this capacity, Knežević and Dr. Lee will report to Dr. Charlotte Cole, Senior Vice President of Global Education.

Knežević will be responsible for developing new international initiatives and global partnerships with organizations that share the Workshop’s mission. He oversees the Workshop’s overall international agenda and directly supervises the work of department Team Leaders who manage projects in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.  He will work with his team to develop the strategic direction for each country in the portfolio, consistent with educational and business priorities and establish management goals consistent with established country success measures. Knežević is also on a mission to mobilize Sesame’s global family of Muppets to raise awareness about safe road practices as part of the UN Collaboration of Road Safety. Along with managing these projects, he is also responsible for developing public-private partnerships that assure sustainability of Sesame Workshop’s mission of educating and engaging children with relevant and age-appropriate content.  Knežević began at the Workshop in 1997 as a Senior Producer for Alam Simsim, the Egyptian co-production of Sesame Street. He contributed to the groundbreaking development of the first HIV-positive Muppet character, named Kami, who appears on Takalani Sesame, the South African adaptation of Sesame Street. In South Africa, Knežević also developed Talk to Me, an award winning call-to-action campaign aimed at promoting dialogue about the disease. Prior to joining the Workshop, Knežević worked as a producer, logging hundreds of hours of national television programming and his work has been credited with an Emmy Award, the Peabody, Japan Price and Ace Award.

Dr. Lee, in addition to ensuring the effectiveness of Sesame Workshop’s formative research, will oversee the Workshop’s international research agenda in order to maximize the impact of Sesame Workshop content. She will continue to enhance training materials and overall engagement with the Workshop’s coproduction partners around production research in order to raise the internal research capacity of such partners. Dr. Lee joined the Workshop six years ago and formerly served as Director of Global Education. The many projects she has successfully supported to fruition include a longitudinal study of over 6,000 children in Bangladesh, a recently published study of educational impact in Indonesia and the meta analysis of our international co-productions completed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin. She has successfully engaged with researchers around the world to elevate the quality of the Workshop’s summative evaluations. Prior to joining the Workshop, Dr. Lee worked at the Center for Research on Interactive Technology, Television, and Children (CRITC) in Austin, Texas where she managed longitudinal datasets on American children’s time use from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) that served as a basis for co-authorship on multiple research publications. Her contributions to this field of research have been published in books and journals including The Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Media Psychology, Pediatrics and Televizion.

“Sesame Workshop strives to make a difference in the lives of children worldwide by addressing their critical needs,” said Dr. Cole.  “Robert will be vital in developing local initiatives and building meaningful partnerships on behalf of underserved children and families. Further, as Sesame Workshop continues to advance our effectiveness globally, demonstrating measurable impact has taken on increased importance. We are fortunate to have June lead the strategic management of our global research, which is an essential component that drives our effectiveness of our international work.  These highly skilled executives will prove to be an essential force propelling driving the Workshop’s mission.”

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

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