Kenta koga

Before founding Gakko to empower education through technology, Kenta worked at Palantir Technologies and some startups. In addition to making learning a creative experience, Kenta is a professional magician. His degree is from Yale University, where he was encouraged to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.

Kenta Koga CEO/Founder

Julie gafney

Julie is a a seasoned educator and administrator with experience launching student success initiatives in higher education. She is passionate about employing the college experience to cultivate critical thinking, advanced literacy, and industry-ready skills in students. Julie holds a PhD in English Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center, an MA from the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature, and a BA from Tufts University.

Julie Gafney Senior Director

Natalie akers

After studying agriculture cooperatives, Natalie taught at the U.S. Grant Program and worked as a Venture for America fellow in Ohio. She joins Gakko to operate camps, which she likes to think of as building communities with young people in rural places. She graduated from Yale with a B.A. in American Studies.

Natalie Akers Director of Camps

Dylan frederick

A lifelong beneficiary of art schools and the Montessori method, Dylan now spends summertime pursuing camp as a supreme medium for meeting and making. He acts, writes, and composes for the theatre. BFA, University of Evansville. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Dylan Frederick Camp Program Coordinator

Zoe lockard

Zoe works closely with Gakko’s enthusiastic community, as well as with admissions. Prior to joining Gakko, she worked as a private investigator. She graduated from American University of Paris with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Urban Studies.

Zoe Lockard Community Manager

Nadia gilbert

Nadia Irshaid Gilbert is a Palestinian-American director of photography and filmmaker. They graduated in 2016 from Tisch school of the arts with a BFA in Film and TV. Most recently, Nadia served as Director of Photography on Lola, Girl Got a Gun (dir. Emily Elizabeth Thomas), which was selected for Cannes Short Film Corner, Harlem International Film Festival, and Victoria Texas Film Festival; Independently, they are currently working on a documentary project with Gaza refugees in Jordan.

Nadia Gilbert Head of Media

Chris boardman

Chris leads Gakko's Digital Learning team who are creating meaningful experiences for early learners. Previously at Skillshare he led product and engineering for their suite of educational mobile apps. He started his career as an engineer and also studied Digital Design in the UK.

Chris Boardman Director of Digital Learning

Cezar mocan

Cezar is a maker who believes in the potential of crossbreeding technology, art and education. Prior to joining Gakko, he worked with Palantir Technologies and Twitter Inc. as a software engineer. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in Computer Science.

Cezar Mocan Software Engineer

Yusuke shibata

After studying computer science at Tokyo University, Yusuke founded and served as lead engineer at Semitransparent Design. Before joining Gakko, he worked on multiple digital media art projects internationally.

Yusuke Shibata Software Engineer

Leyla levi

Leyla thinks at the intersection of architecture, theater and education. With a degree in architectural studies from Yale, she has four years of experience with Gakko as a Sempai to the camp initiative.

Leyla Levi Art Director

Ian shimizu

Ian heads partnerships and coordination in Japan. Previous to joining Gakko, he launched the Japan chapter of, one of the largest environmental NGO's in the world. He is interested in environmental sustainability, travel, and music.

Ian Shimizu Japan Country Manager

Yuta koga

Yuta is an actor, videographer and tap dancer based in Tokyo. Outside of Gakko, he splits his time between Tokyo and Europe, working on various film projects as an actor and/or cinematographer.

Yuta Koga Videographer

Interested in joining the team?

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Our trusted advisors & contributors.

Lakshmi pratury

Lakshmi is an entrepreneur, curator, interviewer, and speaker. After more than 20 years in leading roles in tech, venture capital, and non-profits, she founded INK, India’s foremost platform for the exchange of cutting-edge ideas.

Lakshmi Pratury CEO of INK

John hardy

An artist and entrepreneur, John dedicates himself to building a more sustainable world through education and design. He and his wife Cynthia conceived and created the Green School in Bali, Indonesia to deliver pioneering education.

John Hardy Founder of Green School, Bali

Maria de lera

María wants to use technology as a force for social change. An early GAKKO ambassador, she brings her experiences in operations strategy at Lyft and technology investment banking at Credit Suisse to her role as the team's Strategic Advisor.

María de Lera Lyft

Lauren gersick

Lauren has worked in college counseling for over a decade, with a deep interest in the creative paths of students. Since 2013, she has been at The Urban School of San Francisco, where she is currently Co-director of College Counseling.

Lauren Gersick The Urban School of San Francisco

Bay gross

Bay is a product manager and technology enthusiast who has worked with Google in New York, India, and Switzerland. He currently works for a Venture Capital firm in Manhattan and enjoys working closely with great startups.

Bay Gross Sidewalk Labs

Tom lamb

Tom is a technology company founder and executive, ex-Wall Street lawyer and investment banker, who has worked extensively both within and outside of the United States. He now focuses his professional efforts on advising startup companies from his home in Southern California.

Tom Lamb Senior Strategy Advisor