Former Google and Facebook Exec joins startup Parchment Board of Directors

Parchment, the leader in electronic transfer exchange announced today the appointment of former Google and Facebook executive Ethan Beard as an independent member of its board of directors.
With Parchment growing at an enormously fast pace, Beard’s extensive experience in transforming consumer Internet services to sector-wide platforms will be put to good use. Beard will be replacing Ted Mitchell on Board. Mitchell resigned from his board position when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of Education, with responsibility for postsecondary education.
CEO Parchment Matt Pittinsky comments, “Ethan’s expertise with technology platforms combined with his track record as a successful business development strategist will help elevate Parchment to the next level. Of particular importance, he clearly cares about education and our mission to help learners turn their credentials into opportunities.”
In 2014, Parchment has raised 10 million, partnered with CourseTalk, the leading search and discovery platform for learners to explore the broadest array of online courses and announced a 27 percent increase in transfer exchange usage in Q1-welcoming 1.6 million new learner registrations, an increase of 42 percent year over year.
“The opportunity to join the Parchment board has special meaning to me,” said Beard. “Parchment is one of those rare opportunities to develop a high-impact platform in education, a sector central to addressing so many critical social issues. Credentials play a pivotal role in education, and the mission that Matt Pittinsky and his team have established at Parchment is truly exciting to be part of.”
Beard joined Facebook from Google starting as the director of business development and ended up in worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API.
We asked Beard what excites him most about educational technology. “I am passionate about both education and technology. I believe that through education, we can address a vast number of the world’s problems and challenges from poverty to climate to healthcare. Education is the tool that allows us to lift ourselves up and increase our potential both at the individual level and as a species.  Technology allows us to increase our leverage and efficiency to solve a problem or a need. There are a lot of problems in the world. Education is how we’re going to address them and technology is what is going to drive education at scale.”
After a year-long sabbatical Beard “jumped back in and got into the flow” and also serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at venture capital firm Greylock Partners. He shared with AZTB why he enjoys working with early-stage companies.
“My favorite part about working with early-stage companies is that you get to build things from the beginning. In a startup, very little is set or established – it’s a new product, new team, new idea – so you can both question everything, and be extremely creative with your ideas and solutions.  It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a small team to develop a new solution to a problem,” he said.
Other fun facts about Beard, he also supports a variety of non-profits, including serving as a board member for Beyond 12 and; earlier in his career, Beard co-founded BigSoccer, an online community and store for soccer fans-can we say GOOOOOAAAAALLLL!
Learn more about Parchment’s growth at AZTB.