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NICKELODEON > Bios  

Bios

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Executive Vice President, Business Affairs/General Counsel, Nickelodeon GroupANDRA SHAPIRO

Andra Shapiro is Executive Vice President, Business Affairs/General Counsel, Nickelodeon Group and Co-General Counsel of Viacom Media Networks.

In this capacity, Shapiro oversees all business affairs and legal matters for Nickelodeon, Nick-at-Nite, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr.

Shapiro works closely with Nickelodeon Group senior management to devise and implement creative and effective deal-making strategies and processes to enable the network to achieve its business objectives. In addition, she oversees all legal and business affairs for Nickelodeon Group's program services, including the following areas: original production; program acquisitions; digital media; online; home video; music; merchandise licensing; print publishing (books and magazine); recreation; live stage; public affairs; creative services; marketing and promotion. Shapiro also handles matters relating to union and guild matters, intellectual property and litigation management.

During her 20 year tenure at the network, Shapiro has developed a dedicated business affairs and legal staff. She has implemented a cross-disciplinary team approach, which involves members of the Contract Management, Music and Media Licensing and Ancillary Rights administration groups in Nickelodeon projects. Under Shapiro's supervision, the Nickelodeon Law & Business Affairs team has become a model of top-notch customer service and effective team management.

Prior to joining MTV Networks, Shapiro was an associate with the law firm of Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman where she specialized in copyright and trademark law. She has a B.A. from Barnard College, Magna Cum Laude, a M.A. in Art History from NYU's Institute of Fine Art and a J.D. from NYU School of law.

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Executive Vice President, Creative Strategy, Nickelodeon GroupANNE MULLEN

Anne Mullen is Executive Vice President of Creative Strategy, for Nickelodeon Group.  Based in New York, she oversees strategy and leads the creative teams responsible for developing brand image, promotion, design and advertising for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick.  Additionally she leads the promo planning and strategy team for Nickelodeon.

Previously, as Senior Vice President of Creative Strategy at Nickelodeon, Mullen oversaw the development and execution of all on-air promotion and brand communications for network redesigns, live-action and animated show launches and the network’s signature annual events, including Kids’ Choice Awards and Worldwide Day of Play. She also spearheaded the repositioning and redesign of Nick Jr. in 2011, including the creation of the tagline, “The Smart Place to Play”.

In 2009, as Nickelodeon’s Vice President of Preschool Brand Creative, Mullen worked in tandem with the senior creative team to develop and execute a strategy to unify the network’s channels under the single, globally recognized Nickelodeon brand. 

Under her leadership, Nickelodeon creative teams have won several Emmys®, PromaxBDA and One Show awards, among others, in categories that include promotion, design, illustration, public service and more.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon in 2005, Mullen served as Director of Original Programming and Production at Sundance Channel where she oversaw its creative strategy and supervised the production and creative teams for the channel’s content development. She also served as Entertainment and Media, Client Partner at Razorfish where she led the brand strategy team for domestic and international cable and broadcast clients.

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President, Nickelodeon GroupCYMA ZARGHAMICyma Zarghami is the President of Viacom Inc’s (VIA.A and VIA.B) Nickelodeon Group, overseeing all creative and business operations for the company. Now in its 36th year, Nickelodeon is the world’s most widely distributed kids' channel, with 50 channels reaching more than 350 million people in 25 languages. Ms. Zarghami was named President in 2006, and since then has nurtured the continued growth and expansion of the Nickelodeon brand in television and beyond while ensuring it has remained true to its primary mission of serving and being inclusive of all kids. Under her leadership, the network has solidified its commitment to researching the newest generation of kids, post-millennials, and is super-serving them on all platforms. In February 2013, Nickelodeon launched the Nick App, a branded experience that allows kids to interact with Nick in unprecedented ways, offering them instant and on-demand access to more than 2,000 pieces of Nickelodeon-themed content; and new initiatives in sketch comedy to develop the next generation of Nickelodeon live action stars. To date, the Emmy® Award-winning Nick App has earned close to 11 million installs. Additionally, Nickelodeon redesigned its websites and launched its first full length digital series, and in December is launching a Nick Jr. App. Under Ms. Zarghami’s leadership, Nickelodeon continues to create gold-standard content for all kids. In preschool, Nickelodeon leads with educational shows including Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, Peter Rabbit, PAW Patrol and its newest additions Wallykazam! and Dora and Friends: Into the City! Most recently, Nickelodeon premiered Blaze and the Monster Machines, which features a STEM curriculum, to its hit roster. Nickelodeon continues to be the home to kids’ most beloved animated characters, led by SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon’s animation lineup also features the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and other hits such as Sanjay & Craig, Breadwinners, The Fairly OddParents and The Legend of Korra. To develop even more animation talent, Ms. Zarghami commissioned an Animated Shorts Program, which in 2013 generated more than 900 pitches, from which 12 animated shorts will be created and air on the network, or appear on the Nick App. Most recently, the network announced it was green lighting a 13-episode pickup of The Loud House, one of the shorts created from the 2013 program. In live action, Ms. Zarghami has developed the deepest roster of talent in Nickelodeon’s history and has introduced a new slate of shows for post-millenial kids’ and their families, including the new hits Henry Danger, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, which joins existing hits The Haunted Hathaways, The Thundermans, and Instant Mom. As an advocate for kids, Ms. Zarghami has expanded Nickelodeon’s pro-social leadership role as a key component of its brand identity. Under its award-winning The Big Help banner, Nickelodeon informs and empowers kids of all ages to connect kids to issues they have said are important to them and their families. In fall, 2014, Nickelodeon celebrated its 11th annual Worldwide Day of Play in New York City. Ms. Zarghami began her career with Nickelodeon in 1985. She lives with her family in New York City. ###
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Head of Sales, Nickelodeon GroupJIM PERRY

Jim Perry is Head of Sales, Nickelodeon Group. In this role, Mr. Perry oversees ad sales for multiple brands across a wide variety of platforms, including: Nickelodeon; Nick Jr.; Nicktoons; Nick at Nite; TeenNick and Nickelodeon’s digital media portfolio.

A 21-year veteran of Viacom, Mr. Perry has used his experience to maintain Nick as a leader in kids and family television, deliver new business to the network, and lead new cable networks--such as TeenNick and Nicktoons in 2005--to become fully ad-supported. He has successfully negotiated major business deals throughout his career. These agreements have enabled marketers to establish their brands with kids, teens and parents. In addition, Mr. Perry runs a significant teen business with TeenNick and AddictingGames, as well as Nick’s adult business with Nick at Nite, Shockwave, ParentsConnect and now Nickelodeon.

Mr. Perry successfully launched Nickelodeon's existing new business ad sales division to generate partnerships with non-traditional advertisers within the automotive, consumer electronics, travel, financial, insurance and hospitality industries. Mr. Perry works closely with internal research, marketing/promotions, licensing and programming to create valuable opportunities for marketers.

Mr. Perry joined Viacom in 1991 as a Sales Planner in the Advertising Sales Department where he was exposed to all of MTV Networks cable properties: MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. In 1992, he was promoted to Account Executive at Nickelodeon and has since managed many of the networks largest accounts. In 1999, he was promoted to Vice President of Nick New Business and in 2002, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Nickelodeon Advertising Sales.

Prior to joining Viacom, Mr. Perry worked as a Research Analyst at U.S. News & World Report and a Sales Representative at General Foods Corporation.

Perry is a 1987 graduate of Colgate University where he earned a B.A.

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Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr.KEITH DAWKINSAs Senior Vice President and General Manager of Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr., Keith Dawkins is responsible for the day-to-day operations for the toon, teen and preschool networks, including on-air promotion, programming, scheduling and marketing. He also works with Viacom Content Marketing and Distribution on the channels’ rollout. Dawkins also forges new creative partnerships and co-productions with non-traditional programming partners for the networks. He has developed a variety of partnerships with industry leaders such as Marvel Animation, FremantleMedia, Lionsgate, LEGO and the National Football League (NFL) designed to bring new content to the networks. Additionally, Dawkins has built new content ideas with unique talent, including Rob Dyrdek for Wild Grinders and Nick Cannon for TeenNick Top 10. As the first General Manager of Nicktoons, Dawkins has helped the network grow from eight million households to 68 million, become ad-supported and currently stand as the fastest growing kids’ network in the marketplace. Dawkins has overseen the launch of a roster of shows including Wild Grinders, Kappa Mikey, Edgar & Ellen, Skyland, Speed Racer: The Next Generation and Dragon Ball Z Kai. He formed a partnership with Marvel Animation that brought several of their popular franchises to Nicktoons audiences. This includes Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures, which both premiered to stellar ratings and led the network to double-digit year-over-year growth. Dawkins also formed a partnership with the NFL that led to the co-production of the short form series, Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core, which drew more than 9.4 million total viewers since its premiere in 2010. This relationship has continued into two additional seasons of the franchise. Most recently, Dawkins spearheaded the launch of NickSports--a brand-new primetime programming block on Nicktoons. This new, two-hour weekly block features a mix of original and acquired long- and short-form content from professional sports leagues NFL, MLS and NASCAR; new episodes of Nicktoons’ hit animated series Wild Grinders from Rob Dyrdek and NFL RUSH ZONE; documentary programming; and acquired theatrical movies. At the helm of TeenNick, Dawkins is charged with leading the teen brand which features a roster of Nick favorites, original programming and award-winning series including: TeenNick Top 10, Degrassi, Gigantic, Drake & Josh, True Jackson, VP, Zoey 101, Ned's Declassified and What I Like About You. Dawkins also partners with TeenNick Chairman Nick Cannon on Nick’s original programming initiatives such as the TeenNick HALO Awards. Most recently, Dawkins spearheaded the launch of “The ‘90s Are All That,” a two-hour, weeknight programming block developed in response to fan demand and featuring some of Nickelodeon’s iconic ‘90s hits. The debut of the on-air initiative and its accompanying integrated, fan-driven social media components resulted in the highest late-night viewership ever in the network’s history and sparked a social media fan frenzy on Twitter. As the leader of day-to-day operations for Nick Jr., in nearly 75 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite TV, Dawkins is responsible for many of Nickelodeon’s mega-hit preschool shows, including Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Bubble Guppies, The Backyardigans, Ni Hao, Kai-lan, The Wonder Pets!, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Olivia, The Fresh Beat Band and Team Umizoomi. He also oversees the adult-targeted NickMom programming block on Nick Jr. featuring original long and short-form programming, including talk shows, stand-up and sketch comedy, scripted comedy, docu-series and more. Dawkins’ combination of kid-focused creativity, ingenuity and leadership skills make him a valuable asset to the success of the channel. Dawkins began his time at Viacom by serving as a supervising producer for VH1 News, where he oversaw numerous long-form programs and spearheaded the channel’s short-form news coverage. Prior to joining VH1, Dawkins was a producer at Fox News Channel where he was part of the network’s original launch team, producing a variety of daily and live event coverage such as Super Bowl XXXI and the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Dawkins graduated from the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program in 2007 and received the prestigious NAMIC Next Generation Leaders Award in 2008. During his tenure with Viacom, Dawkins has served on numerous advisory boards that foster diversity and inclusion amongst peers, departments and networks, including the VH1 Diversity Team, the Nickelodeon Diversity Team and most recently the Viacom Office of Global Inclusion Advisory Committee (GIAC). The Viacom GIAC is committed to championing the next generation of leadership across all Viacom brands, and ensuring that the Viacom culture continues to evolve as a welcoming and inclusive place for talent, employees, leaders and partners. In addition to being a former board member of the NY chapter of “Reach out and Read,” a national children’s literacy organization, Dawkins currently sits on the Board of Governors for Ramapo College and he’s the current inaugural President of the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association. A graduate of the CTAM Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School and the NAMIC Executive Leadership Program at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, Dawkins also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Ramapo College. He currently lives in Ridgewood, N.J., with his wife and two sons. ###
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Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Nickelodeon GroupDAN MARTINSEN

Dan Martinsen is Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications, Nickelodeon Group.

In this role Mr. Martinsen is responsible for developing strategic communications plans for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons and all of its related businesses, including Television, Ad Sales, Consumer Products, Promotions Marketing, Nick Movies, Recreation, Public Affairs and Magazines.

In addition to leading the communications staff in both New York and Santa Monica, Mr. Martinsen works closely with Cyma Zarghami, MTV Networks Corporate Communications and Viacom Corporate Communications to secure media coverage that reinforces Nickelodeon's position as the number-one kids' entertainment brand. He also partners with Nickelodeon’s Chief of Staff Marva Smalls in managing internal communications.

Mr. Martinsen joined Nickelodeon as Vice President, Communications in November 1997, and managed all the day-to-day publicity efforts for U.S. Television. Under his leadership, the communications team generated tremendous media coverage for priority projects such as Nickelodeon’s 20th birthday, the opening of the Nickelodeon Animation Studio; the breakout of Blue’s Clues as a franchise hit; the Kids’ Choice Awards and all TV series launches, including SpongeBob SquarePants.

During the celebration of Nick’s 20th birthday, Mr. Martinsen helped gain tremendous press coverage. Some of the media coverage for this event included a Time magazine feature on the Nickelodeon State of Kid’s study, a Los Angeles Times feature on Nickelodeon’s future and, a front page media business piece in The New York Times.

A 20-year veteran of television public relations, Mr. Martinsen joined Nick from USA Networks, where he was Vice President, Media Relations. Prior to USA Networks, he headed public relations at Rainbow Programming’s SportsChannel America from 1988-1991. From 1985-1988, Mr. Martinsen held various public relations positions at NBC. He began his career as a reporter at Newsday.

Mr. Martinsen lives in Smithtown, NY with his wife Doreen, his daughters Kathleen and Julia, and son, Danny.

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Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon and Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for ViacomMARVA SMALLSMarva Smalls is Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon and Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom.  Smalls has more than three decades of leadership experience in the public and private sectors.  She is widely recognized as one of the most influential leaders in media.

As Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief of Staff for Nickelodeon, Smalls partners closely with the President and the COO in directing financial resources, personnel and facilities for their New York and West Coast offices.  She also manages and oversees meetings of the Executive Management Team, a strategic planning group comprised of the senior leaders at Nickelodeon.

Smalls administers all pro-social and corporate responsibility initiatives for Nickelodeon and coordinates relationships with advocates, government officials, educators, non-profit organizations and trade associations. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon’s award-winning, pro-social campaigns have been recognized by presidential administrations and supported by top names in the entertainment industry.

In her role as Executive Vice President of Global Inclusion Strategy for Viacom, Smalls works with leadership across Viacom’s brand portfolio to champion multiculturalism, inclusiveness and diversity worldwide.  Her role includes the development of the next generation of leaders at Viacom and the expansion of the company’s strategic partnerships with outside organizations.  She reports directly to Viacom’s CEO Philippe Dauman.

Prior to joining Viacom in 1993, Smalls served in public sector positions on state and national levels, including a decade as Chief of Staff for a member of the US House of Representatives.  

She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina, where she was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. Smalls established an endowment for the University of South Carolina’s Ronald McNair Center which offers scholarships and support to engineering students from the under-represented populations. She also started the Marva Smalls Endowment to support programs that provide opportunities to youth and families. She serves on numerous boards of directors including the National Council for Families and Television, CTAM Foundation, Big Brothers - Big Sisters of America and American Theater Wing.

Smalls currently resides in New York City and Charleston, SC.

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Chief Marketing Officer and President, Consumer Products, Nickelodeon GroupPAM KAUFMAN

Pam Kaufman is the Chief Marketing Officer and President of Consumer Products for Nickelodeon. Kaufman is a strong global-branding executive who provides the company with high-level vision, strategy and execution across its media platforms, marketing efforts and consumer products businesses.

In her role as CMO, Kaufman serves as Nickelodeon’s marketing and branding leader, overseeing all global consumer marketing efforts across television, digital, events, music, retail ad sales and consumer products, advancing Nickelodeon’s standing as the world’s leading kids’ entertainment brand. Kaufman additionally manages the strategic property planning and retail sales and marketing efforts for Nickelodeon’s global franchises.

Kaufman leads the company’s Integrated Marketing efforts, working with blue-chip advertisers like General Mills and Toyota, and all Strategic Marketing plans for new content, including most recently a new generation of hit programming including Sam & Cat, The Haunted Hathaways, Rabbids and Sanjay & Craig. She has helmed the launch strategies for the groundbreaking iCarly, the successful return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; digital initiatives such as the network’s top-selling apps, including the Emmy Award-winning Nick App; Nick Radio, the network’s first-ever partnership with Clear Channel; and live events like the annual Kids’ Choice Awards and the first-ever SpongeBob fan convention, the "SpongeBob Shellabration."

Kaufman’s responsibilities also include oversight of Nick’s Recreation and Special Events teams, and she spearheads the marketing strategy and support for brand extensions like Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, Nickelodeon’s entertainment program for Norwegian Cruise Line and the SpongeBob store at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

As President of Consumer Products, Kaufman oversees domestically Nickelodeon’s billion-dollar global consumer products business, which encompasses merchandising and licensing for some of the worlds’ most popular and iconic intellectual properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Peter Rabbit. Kaufman also spearheads Nick’s major licensing programs with industry-leading partners like Mattel, Fisher-Price, Playmates and Crayola and retail partnerships with Walmart, Kmart, Target and Toys ‘R’ Us.

Before joining Nickelodeon in 1997 as Vice President of Nickelodeon Promotions Marketing, Kaufman worked at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., as Vice President, Promotions. There, she started the Promotions Group within TBS’s Licensing & Merchandising division and led the promotional efforts for corporate initiatives like The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and Johnny Quest. Kaufman significantly grew the business and brand exposure for these properties. She began her career at Grey Advertising’s Beaumont-Bennet division working on accounts including Hess gasoline, Gordon’s Gin and Vodka before moving to Equity Marketing, where she developed and sold comprehensive premium programs to domestic fast food, packaged goods and beverage companies.

Throughout her career, Kaufman has received numerous awards and has been recognized by the media community for her innovations, receiving several awards including Advertising Age’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 2002, Brandweek’s 1999 Grand Marketer of the Year and the Marketer of the Year in 1998. Under her leadership, the Nickelodeon Brand Marketing team was awarded the 2007 NAMIC Excellence in Multicultural Marketing.

Kaufman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Communications from American University. She enjoys travelling, music and her favorite movie is Jaws.

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President, Content Development and Production, Nickelodeon GroupRUSSELL HICKS 

Russell Hicks is President, Content Development and Production for Nickelodeon Group.  Based at Nickelodeon’s Burbank and Santa Monica, Calif. offices, he oversees the company’s live-action, animation development and production teams for all of Nickelodeon’s content platforms and across all of the network’s channels—Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick and Nicktoons.

Hicks oversees a development and production slate that includes more than a dozen new live-action, animation and TV movie projects as part of Nickelodeon’s deep commitment to new content for the first generation of post-millennial kids. Additionally, Hicks has quickly re-energized and realigned the development team to organize Nick’s animation, live-action, digital, movies, talent and short form into a single cohesive group.

In animation, he initiated a new shorts program to attract new talent and projects. In 2012 the program took over 600 pitches and made 12 shorts, greenlighting five for series development. A 2013 program has already commenced. In live-action, Hicks has created multiple sources for new projects through sketch comedy, including opening a sketch lab in Los Angeles, creating comedy workshops to cultivate new talent, and creating an environment to incubate new projects and allow new talent, writers and producers to develop ideas for Nickelodeon.

A 14-year Nickelodeon veteran, Hicks previously served as the network’s Chief Creative Officer.  In this position he oversaw all of Nickelodeon Creative, On-Air Promotions, Consumer Products, Brand and Advertising divisions, and led the product development and creative positioning of Nickelodeon’s brands and properties, ensuring it represented Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ First” philosophy and supporting the company mission to provide surprising and playful experiences for its audiences. In 2009, he led an unprecedented creative review of the Nickelodeon brand and re-imagined its logo to represent the growth the company had attained after 30 years, while also maintaining and reflecting the company’s core attributes.

Prior to working at Nickelodeon, Hicks was Vice President of Marketing, Cartoon Network/Turner brands for Warner Brothers, where he was responsible for the marketing and creative that turned Scooby Doo and the Power Puff Girls into cultural icons. Hicks started his career as an animator that led him to work on Teddy Ruxpin, the first talking teddy bear for Worlds of Wonder toys. It is this combination of both animation and consumer products that has given Hicks his extensive knowledge of the children’s entertainment world.

Hicks attended California State University Fullerton where he studied illustration and design. 
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Chief Operating Officer, Nickelodeon GroupSARAH LEVYSarah Levy is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Nickelodeon Group. In this role, she oversees the finance, strategic planning and business operations for Nickelodeon, including the day-to-day business management of  the Ad Sales, Finance, Business Development, Business and Legal Affairs, Corporate Communications, Human Resources, Research and Production Management departments. Levy also serves as a key conduit to Viacom in representing the Nickelodeon Group businesses.

During her 15 year tenure at Viacom, she has overseen several consumer products businesses, recreation licensing and niche networks (Nicktoons and TeenNick).  She has also worked with Viacom on several key acquisitions for Nickelodeon, including the 2010 addition of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles global franchise.  Turtles is a proven hit for the network, with a hit CG-animated series that ranks as one of the top five shows with kids 2-11 across all TV; a new feature film in partnership with Paramount Pictures to be released this summer; and a global consumer products powerhouse—ranking as the number-one action figure brand for 2013 across all retail. 

She has also developed Nickelodeon’s long-range business plans, and played a key role in expanding numerous businesses, including the development of Nickelodeon’s online and wireless strategies and website integration.  She has also helmed strategic partnerships to create the first Nickelodeon-branded hotel in Orlando, Fla., the Nickelodeon Suites Resort and the net’s first standalone theme park, Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America.

Prior to her role as COO, Levy served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations for Nickelodeon. She began her career with Nick in 1998 as Director of Business Development.

Levy received a B.A. degree in Economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.  Prior to business school, she was a Senior Analyst in Disney’s corporate strategic planning group, where she performed all aspects of strategic analysis for the Filmed Entertainment and Recorded Music divisions, including Disney’s acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC.  She also worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Goldman Sachs & Co. 

Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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