Technology Strategist Michael Van Kleeck Joins Lumen Learning as VP of Engineering

Former Mozillian committed to expanding culture of innovation, equipping company for next stage of growth

Photo of Michael Van CleeckPortland, Ore. (May 9, 2019) – Today digital courseware provider Lumen Learning announced the appointment of Michael Van Kleeck as Vice President of Engineering. The Portland-based technologist joins Lumen from Mozilla, where he was Enterprise Solutions Architect as well as a leader in initiatives on diversity and building cultures of learning. This new position with Lumen combines Van Kleeck’s longtime passion for education and his obsession with solving problems through user-focused technology.

“Michael’s experience in the open technology world provides an outstanding foundation for leading Lumen’s engineering team,” said Kim Thanos, CEO of Lumen Learning. “Michael will not only shepherd our technology strategy as we scale rapidly in the coming months, but he will also empower our internal culture of innovation as a learning engineering company that brings together open content and technology in the service of improving learning.”

Having grown up in an ethnically and socio-economically diverse community in California, championing education is a distinct theme throughout Van Kleeck’s career. After graduating from Stanford University, he taught high school English before pivoting towards technology. An early devotee of Agile methodology, Van Kleeck has thrived by building development teams with a culture of learning and a focus on meeting users’ needs. He sees this orientation as an essential part of aligning engineering teams to support organizational and business growth, whether working on cloud computing initiatives, designing secure identity and access management, or spearheading the development of a market-leading learning management system. Van Kleeck has also sought out public service opportunities to impact education policy, such as participating in working groups for the State of Oregon Quality Education Commission (QEC) and the State Commission on Children and Families.

“Lumen’s rapid growth in terms of students and faculty requires a technology organization that can keep pace with this momentum and the breadth of users we’re serving now and in the future,” said Van Kleeck. “We have a huge opportunity to create technology that reflects the diversity of the students and faculty who learn and teach with the tools we create, and that starts with the engineering team.”

Since its inception as a company, Lumen Learning has focused on providing affordable learning tools that replace expensive textbooks and are well-suited to the needs of disadvantaged students. The vast majority of its 250+ institutional customers are community colleges and four-year universities serving high proportions of these students.

Van Kleeck is delighted with the opportunity to apply his professional skills and energy to the challenge of solving problems associated with learning and how to serve the needs of students, educators, and educational institutions.

“I’m into technology to increase the possibilities for humans to interact and do the things that make us human – art, music, learning, sharing, relationships. I’m very skeptical about anything using technology to replace humans,” said Van Kleeck. “With the rapid pace of change happening in educational technology today, Lumen Learning is putting this philosophy into practice. It’s exactly where I want to make a substantial impact.”

About Lumen Learning

Lumen Learning provides digital course materials designed to strengthen learning, using open educational resources (OER). Lumen replaces expensive textbooks with affordable digital content that emphasizes interactivity, learning by doing, and ease of use. Adding timely updates, learning design, and technical support to OER, Lumen makes open content simple, reliable, and effective for instructors and students.

Lumen OER courseware includes Waymaker personalized learning courseware and OHM, an online homework system for math and other quantitative subjects. Over 250 colleges and universities across the U.S. use Lumen-supported digital courseware for in-person, online, and blended courses. Materials created by Lumen are published under Creative Commons Attribution licenses and contributed back to the education community. Learn more at, and visit our course catalog at

Media Contact

Julie Curtis, VP Strategy & Communication

Lumen Learning

+1.503.840.5569 |