Our mission is to provide educators, coaches, parents, and students with a roadmap to learning that cultivates self-expression, resilience, passion, and creativity within the larger classroom or team setting. Through the exploration of thematic interconnectedness, students will discover the fibers that connect all disciplines and develop the ability to harness those connections in all of their learning endeavors. Development of these skills will foster greater independence, self-confidence, and a love for learning that will last a lifetime.
Josh Waitzkin President
Josh, an eight-time National Chess Champion in his youth, was the subject of the book and movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer. At age 18, he published his first book, Attacking Chess. Since the age of twenty, he has developed and been the spokesperson for Chessmaster, the largest computer chess program in the world with over 6 million copies sold. Now a martial arts champion, Waitzkin holds a combined 21 National Championship titles in addition to several World Championship titles.
In 2008, Waitzkin founded The JW Foundation, an educational non-profit dedicated to an individualized approach to learning, and he currently serves as president of the organization. In addition to consulting internationally on the subjects of performance psychology, the learning process and creativity, Josh is currently focusing on his third art: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Josh is a BJJ black belt under World Champion Marcelo Garcia, the creator of MGInAction.com, and co-founder of The Marcelo Garcia Academy. When he’s not on the mats or with his beautiful wife and baby son, Josh loves free diving, paddle-boarding, skiing, and a good storm.
To learn more about a man, read the books he reads.
Katy Wells Program Director
Katy joined The Art of Learning Project in 2013. As a former teacher in the NYC public school system and a parent of school aged children, Katy is dedicated to supporting educators in creating learning environments and experiences that allow students to follow their passions and develop a deep and lasting love of learning.
Katy provides one on one support to teachers, administrators, coaches, and various other educational professionals as they incorporate the learning principles into their work with their students and athletes. In addition to program support, Katy develops educational content and materials based on The Art of Learning principles, oversees an online discussion group for educators working with the concepts, manages the book donation program, and is the general point person for all TAOLP programs.
The JW Foundation Board of Advisors
David Greenspan is Founder and President of Slate Path Capital, a New York based global investment firm. He founded the firm in 2012. Prior to Slate Path, David was partner and managing director at Blue Ridge Capital in New York. David joined Blue Ridge in 2000, the same year he graduated from Columbia Business School. Prior to attending Columbia, David was a CPA and consultant with Price Waterhouse in Washington DC. In addition to his MBA from Columbia, David earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from George Mason University in 1993.
David is a member of the Columbia University Business School Board of Overseers. For the past ten years, he has been an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School where he teaches Advanced Investment Research. David serves on the advisory board of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing at Columbia Business School.
He is a former member of the board of directors of the Success Academy Charter Schools and was a founding member of the board of trustees of Success Academy Harlem 4. David was a founding board member of the Josh Waitzkin (JW) Foundation, and has long held a keen interest in mindfulness based practices such as meditation and yoga.
Rick Gerson is the Founder, Chairman and CIO of Falcon Edge Capital, a global investment firm based in New York.Prior to Falcon Edge, Rick was a Founding Member and Managing Director of Blue Ridge Capital, a New York-based investment firm started in 1996. Prior to Blue Ridge, Rick was an intern to the President of Tiger Management.Rick graduated from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce in 1997 with a B.S. in Commerce with a Concentration in Finance.
Rick is a member of the Cleveland Clinic International Leadership Board, a founding member of the Board of Trustees of PAVE (a charter school in Brooklyn), a board member of Orascom Housing Communities (an Egyptian-based affordable housing developer), and a founding board member of the JW Foundation.
John Kim is a Partner at Court Square Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City. Founded in 1980, Court Square is one of the founding franchises of the private equity industry, and John currently heads Operations and Marketing for the firm.Prior to joining Court Square, John was a Partner at Capital Z Investments and ran their Investor Relations and Marketing department. John was also a senior investment banker for JP Morgan’s placement team and has raised capital for numerous private equity funds.
John received his A.B., magna cum laude, from Brown University and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He currently sits on the board of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, the Acting Company and is a founding board member of the Collegiate Charter Schools of Brooklyn (an Uncommon Schools affiliate). John lives in Brooklyn with his wife, three kids and two dogs. He is an avid paddle boarder and guitar player and we are thrilled to welcome him as a member of the JW Foundation Board.
Graham Duncan is a co-founder of East Rock Capital, an endowment fund for the Miller family. Before founding East Rock ten years ago, Mr. Duncan was a principal at Lyrical Partners. Previously, Duncan co-founded the independent Wall Street research firm Medley Global Advisors with Richard Medley, a former partner at Soros Fund Management.
Duncan served as first COO then President. Mr. Duncan graduated from Yale with a BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Duncan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. We are thrilled to have him as a member of the JW Foundation Board.