In a leadership shuffle, Lauren Heuser, who has helped News Decoder grow its global network of partners, will be succeeded by Maria Krasinski.

News Decoder,leadership

Maria Krasinski

Today, News Decoder announces a changing of the guard in senior management as our not-for-profit seeks new opportunities to help youth around the world foster understanding and become better global citizens.

Lauren Heuser, who as Chief Strategy Officer has successfully helped lead our educational news service for the past 2-1/2 years, will be leaving. Her replacement, Maria Krasinski, will take up a new role, Managing Director, and help us reach more young people in more parts of the world.

Heuser, who is having a baby this August, led the search for her replacement, and Krasinski emerged atop an extremely competitive field of candidates — testimony to the credibility and potential of our startup, now in its seventh year of operations.

Krasinski sets out her leadership goals.

Born in my own native city of Buffalo, New York, Krasinski has three degrees from the University of Chicago, including two master’s, in International Relations and Public Policy. She worked with WorldChicago, which organizes U.S. State Department professional and educational exchange programs, between 2012 and 2017, eventually serving as Vice President.

She then served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Tbilisi, Georgia. More recently, she illustrated the book “Art Hiding in New York: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Secret Masterpieces,” and she and author Lori Zimmer have signed for a second book, “Art Hiding in Paris,” due out next year.

Asked what attracted her to News Decoder, Krasinski said: “This new role has an exciting mix of program strategy, partnership building and the opportunity to help grow the platform to reach even more students around the world.”

Recently, News Decoder added a 20th academic institution, Kepler in Rwanda, to its list of partner schools, expanding our network to 15 countries.

“In my first year, I would aim to deepen our engagement with member schools and continue to provide excellent programming that meets student and faculty needs; to expand the News Decoder platform and product offerings to include more schools and partners, especially in regions not yet represented in our membership; and to grow our online presence to be known as the go-to news site for young people,” said Krasinski, who will be based in the United States.

Heuser helped News Decoder grow.

Heuser, based in Toronto, has helped oversee the addition of new academic partners in Belgium, Canada, Nigeria, Rwanda, Transylvania, Tunisia and the United States, while increasing school renewal rates to 100%.

Her degrees in law and business gave her the underpinnings to implement software solutions that have improved News Decoder’s ability to operate as a team, reduced costs and bolstered our global profile.

She has been responsible for financial planning, pricing strategy and accounting, and spearheaded business development efforts that led to new academic, media and licensing partners.

I asked Heuser where News Decoder could improve. “Where News Decoder can raise its game is by opening up our educational resources to a wider range of youth and educators around the world,” she said.

News Decoder,leadership

Lauren Heuser

Our new Director of Development, Thea Lacey, is leading our efforts to offer some resources and services to the broader public while continuing to nurture exclusive relationships with our academic partners.

Does Heuser have any tips for Krasinski? “Stay focused on the big picture while remaining attentive to detail,” Heuser said.

“I think it’s crucial to always be thinking about where you want the organization to be in one, three, five years and what steps you need to take to get there, while carrying out your day-to-day responsibilities to the highest standards.”

(Nelson Graves is the founder of News Decoder.)

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