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About  Shmoop

Leadership Team

  • David Siminoff

    Chief Creative Officer and Founder

    • Favorite lit: Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce
    • Little known fact: arrested in Moscow in 1992
    • Hidden talent: barbecuing dead things

    David has a passion for all things learning, and thinks that anyone making learning not fun should be criminally charged. He graduated with honors in English from Stanford University; studied English literature at Oxford University; received his MFA from USC School of Cinema and Television; and received his MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Siminoff is also a published author and award-winning screenwriter. David has had a storied career at Capital Research Management Company, a division of Capital Group.

  • Ellen Siminoff

    President and CEO

    • Claim to Fame: been shot
    • Loves: chocolate, Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers
    • Little known fact: Struggles with golf

    Ellen is an experienced businessperson and full-time dog lover. She obtained a BA in Economics from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University. She was a founding executive and Senior Vice President of Yahoo!, and former Chairman and CEO of Efficient Frontier, now a division of Adobe Corporation.

    When she’s not Shmooping or walking her labradoodle, Ellen also serves on the board of directors for SolarWinds, Mozilla, and Zynga. In 2005, she was one of eight industry professionals named "Masters of Information" by Forbes magazine.

  • David Nguyen


    • Loves: snowboarding, capoeira, Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs
    • Favorite book: The Once and Future King by T.H. White
    • Hidden Talent: I lost it.

    David has been the Chief Technology Officer since 2009. He received his M.S. and B.S. in Computer Engineering at Northwestern University. During his graduate program he was recognized as a member of the Walter P. Murphy Society and has been published several times for his work in network security. Previously, he worked as the Lead Software Engineer at Peanut Labs (acquired by ResearchNow) and as a Systems Modeling Software Engineer at SanDisk. David likes to profess that he’s a robot, but everyone at Shmoop knows he has a heart of platinum.

  • Paul Taylor

    VP of Educational Sales & Services

    • Loves: Family, Lakers, Surfing, 49ers, MotoGP
    • Favorite book: The Firm by John Grisham
    • Hidden Talent: I know I could be the next Master Chef

    As a devoted dad and a professional jokester, Paul is a firm believer in the mission of Shmoop and loves going into schools and seeing students succeed. Paul is a Silicon Valley veteran who has over 13 years of sales, recruiting, and business development experience at various companies including Efficient Frontier, Razorfish and Southwest Airlines. He has worked closely with teachers and administrators in developing education solutions for schools across the country, including districts in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Florida. He has his BA in communications from San Luis Obispo.

  • Christina Park Kim

    VP Marketing

    • Loves: This video.
    • Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Hidden Talent: Known for her love of The Lord of the Rings, she was asked to give a reading at a wedding in Elvish

    A California native and bookworm by heart, Christina is happy to work at a Mountain View startup with a passion for great literature. Prior to leading Shmoop’s marketing and PR efforts, Christina was Sr. Director of Marketing at Triggit and spent six years at Google in several marketing, speechwriting, and product related functions. Before joining the tech world, Christina first worked as a morning news producer at Fox affiliate KTXL in Sacramento. Christina graduated with a journalism degree from Northwestern University and is fluent in Korean.

  • Sherry Willhoite

    VP Product Management

    • Loves: her dog, Hairy Truman
    • Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • Little known fact: Obsessed with outdoor concerts

    With a dog-friendly workplace and a mission to change the world, Shmoop is the perfect fit for Sherry. A graduate of California State University, Fresno, Sherry is a seasoned product management executive with over 15 years of experience in product strategy and development. Ms. Willhoite launched her career at Yahoo! designing and managing web products in the communication and community space. For the last decade, Ms. Willhoite has been VP of Product Management for a wide-range of web businesses including Granicus, Spoke Software, MyWaves, and Spark Networks.

  • Deb Tennen

    Chief Editor

    • Loves: good TV, bad TV, other people's dogs
    • Favorite book: The Late Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello and anything by Steven Pinker
    • Hidden Talent: doing spot-on impressions of choice quotes from Nora Ephron movies

    As long as Deb can remember, she’s had an affinity for education and the written word. She has her B.A. and M.A. from Middlebury College and her Ph.D. from Stanford University (Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages). Her publication record includes McSweeney's, People magazine (letter-to-the-editor), CarTalk (does that count?), and everyone's favorite quarterly, Renaissance Studies.

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