Sesame Workshop, the media and educational nonprofit behind Sesame Street and decades of award-winning children’s programming, has named Dr. Alison Bryant, a renowned expert on the impact of media, technology, and play, to the new position of Chief Research, Data, and Impact Officer (CRDIO). The move signals Sesame Workshop’s commitment to research as a strategic driver in identifying the needs of children and families around the world in order to create content with the broadest possible impact. Dr. Bryant will oversee Sesame workshop research, data strategy, analytics, and impact measurement as well as the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the Workshop’s independent research and innovation lab. She joins the organization’s Leadership Operations Team and will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Steve Youngwood.
From its earliest days, Sesame Workshop has relied on qualitative and quantitative research to ensure that Sesame Street and other programming best engage, educate, and bring joy to children. In elevating data strategy across the organization, Dr. Bryant and her team will develop a holistic framework to inform strategic planning, provide impact metrics, and further thought leadership on the most pressing issues for kids and families and the power of media to support them.
“The work we do—from inception to impact—has always been driven by rigorous research,” said Sesame Workshop CEO Steve Youngwood. “As the world of educational media continues to expand and fragment, Dr. Bryant’s deep experience will allow us to broaden engagement and learning outcomes for kids and plan strategically in new and important ways.”
“Sesame Workshop has been a transformational force in children’s lives for over fifty years, so the opportunity to come on board to shape and tell that impact story is an incredible honor,” commented Dr. Bryant. “Research and thought leadership about how children and families around the world can learn from media has always been a core part of the Workshop’s DNA.”
Dr. Bryant joined Sesame Workshop from AARP, where she led the world-class Research Center and the Technology & Digital Equity social impact area. Before that, she was the founder and CEO of PlayScience, a research and design firm that partnered with dozens of marquee family brands, including Sesame Workshop, Girl Scouts, and Disney. She has edited two books on children’s media and families and has a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from Davidson College, an M.A. in Telecommunications and Film from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Communication from University of Southern California.
Dr. Alison Bryant – Chief Research, Data, and Impact Officer (CRDIO)