February 2, 2021
(New York, NY) – Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, announced the promotion of Ed Wells to EVP and Head of Global Media and Education. Wells is now responsible for developing and implementing the Workshop’s long-term strategic vision for media and education in the U.S., in addition to retaining his international portfolio. Reporting to CEO Steve Youngwood, Wells will leverage the iconic brand to maximize audience engagement and grow the Workshop’s commercial and educational endeavors around the world.
Under Wells’s leadership, Sesame Workshop has broadened its international reach through innovative new engagement opportunities and strategic partnerships across media distribution, location-based entertainment, and formal learning. He has also overseen the Workshop’s on-the-ground expansion, opening and augmenting offices in Europe, Japan, China, and Latin America. As part of Sesame Workshop’s ongoing commitment to growing its brand and educational impact, Wells will oversee both domestic and international business in a more holistic approach to the organization’s global expansion.
“Today’s kids are facing disruption and uncertainty on a scale we’ve never seen before; it’s more important than ever for us to step up and offer families the kind of support that only Sesame Workshop can,” said Youngwood. “Throughout Ed’s career, he has effectively and consistently overseen complex operations, managed challenging issues, and built strategic partnerships. I’m confident in Ed’s ability to further our child-first mission, broaden our global impact, and evolve the ways families everywhere connect with Sesame Workshop.”
"For 50 years and counting, Sesame Workshop has harnessed the power of media to address the most pressing issues faced by families around the world," said Wells. "Today, the organization has the strength and momentum to continue that proud legacy into an increasingly complex future, and I’m thrilled and honored to take on this new role.”
Wells joined Sesame Workshop in 2017 as the Senior Vice President and Head of International Media and Education. In this capacity, he expanded the organization’s brand and business in key markets, securing and managing partnerships across core areas: consumer products; content production and distribution; English language learning and formal education; and themed entertainment. He led his team in identifying early childhood issues in different regions, addressing them with the support of local sponsors by developing community outreach programs featuring Sesame Street’s characters, educational assets, and a whole-child approach to learning.
Prior to Sesame Workshop, Wells was Executive Vice President and Head of International for WWE, Inc., where he was responsible for the global strategic development of WWE’s brand and businesses including the launch of the direct-to-consumer subscription service, WWE Network. He also worked across the Viacom International Media Networks brands in New York, Singapore, and Japan, serving as Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon.
Wells is actively involved in a number of philanthropic institutions and is a former Board Member and current Strategic Advisor of the Ali Forney Center, an organization that supports homeless LGBTQ teens. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and later earned Master of Arts degrees in International Studies from both American University and Ritsumeikan University.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit sesameworkshop.org.