Stephen Laster Joins Ellucian as Chief Product Officer
Leader in harnessing technology and product innovation for business growth to champion Ellucian’s digital transformation solutions for higher ed
- Stephen Laster now serves as Ellucian’s chief product officer.
- In this role he drives all aspects of product direction and strategy.
- Laster has spent more than a decade in technology leadership roles related to higher education.
RESTON, VA – Ellucian, the world’s leading provider of software and services built to power higher education, today announced that it has appointed Stephen Laster as its new chief product officer (CPO). Laster is a seasoned technologist, business leader, strategist, eLearning designer and educator, with extensive background in higher education.
As CPO, Laster joins Ellucian’s executive team to lead all aspects of product direction and strategy across the product, and research and development organizations. Laster will guide Ellucian’s platform, products, and solutions to meet industry needs and accelerate opportunities for digital transformation in the cloud for Ellucian's more than 2,700 customers worldwide.
“Stephen is both a practitioner and visionary who brings a deep understanding of the education industry and the opportunities and challenges it faces to Ellucian,” said Ellucian President and CEO Laura Ipsen. “I am thrilled to have Stephen join Ellucian at such a pivotal time to enhance and accelerate our technology vision and strategy as more of our customers are transforming in the cloud to achieve greater student success.”
“At a time when higher education institutions are working to solve increasingly complex problems with ever-tightening budgets, it becomes imperative for the solutions they choose to not just fit the specific needs of the industry but also enable institutions to keep up with future innovations,” said Laster. “I’m excited to join Ellucian and help align our solutions to fill this critical need in higher education technology.”
Laster comes to Ellucian from Penn Foster where he served as chief digital & learning officer. In this capacity he led the technology, courseware, and education practices to advance the impact and engagement of the organization's learning experiences, both in pursuit of learner success and to advance the technological capabilities of the firm. Prior to Penn Foster, Laster served for more than a decade in technology leadership roles related to higher education, including as chief digital officer at McGraw-Hill Education, chief information officer at Harvard Business School and director of curriculum innovation and technology at Babson College.
His expertise in this field is widely respected and has led to advisory positions for organizations such as EDUCAUSE Corporate Advisory, IMS Global, Microsoft Higher Education, The Online Learning Consortium, Preserve, Inc., and Babson College. A frequent commentator on education technology and innovation, Laster has spoken and written articles for ASU GSV, EDUCAUSE, IMS Learning Impact and Campus Technology.
Laster holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.