Human Development Is the Only Game for Grown-Ups

As Founder and CEO, Chris Mackie brings decades of diverse experience to fiveDlearning’s clients and partners. Ask Chris about his background and he’ll likely share only a small portion of a portfolio covering over 35 years of practice and research in education, learning science, and human development.

Chris’s diverse achievements are grounded in a core, passionate belief that “human development is the only game for grown-ups.” He is one of the world’s authorities on developing high-performance, scalable, sustainable human development, educational improvement, and social development infrastructure projects. His successes span national and international-scale projects in educational improvement, healthcare and public health, workforce and economic development, visual and performing arts, cultural heritage, wildlife conservation, learning science, artificial intelligence, applied mathematics, agent-based modeling, computer programming, cyberinfrastructure, cybersecurity, organizational and regulatory design, policy making, and more. The common thread in these diverse initiatives is Chris’s deep conviction that every human deserves the chance to grow as much and as far as their dreams and hard work will take them.

Chris understands the cultural sensitivities and localized practices needed to build successful programs in a wide range of global economies. His partners and clients have included the United Nations, UNESCO, and national governments as well as hundreds of educational organizations and nonprofits/NGOs in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. His work with the United States government includes multiple cabinet-level departments and many other agencies (including the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities), as well as numerous state governments.  

Christopher J. Mackie, PhD


Earlier in his career, Chris managed the world’s largest and most successful private-philanthropic funding program for advancing open intellectual property, at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. During his tenure, Chris led global advances in open educational resources, open access to scholarship, and open source software, in the fields of education and scholarly communication, the arts and cultural heritage, and wildlife conservation. These initiatives continue to serve more than 30,000 social-benefit organizations, improving the lives of more than 300 million people and many endangered species worldwide. Before joining Mellon, Chris received the President’s Award for Service from Princeton University for fifteen years of contributions as an administrator, teacher, and researcher. He is a published scholar and policy analyst and has delivered hundreds of public addresses worldwide to audiences as large as 10,000.

A native of Andover, Massachusetts, Chris graduated from Phillips Academy. He earned a Ph.D. in International and Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where his primary research area was computational social and affective neuroscience. He holds master’s degrees in Public Policy (Princeton University) and Higher and Adult Continuing Education (University of Michigan), and an A.B. in International Studies (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). He currently serves on several boards, including Fractured Atlas and rSmart, Inc.

fiveDlearning is the fifth startup business grown by Chris and his colleagues, one of which was recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s “five fastest growing health care startups.” The firm reflects and sustains Chris’s lifelong passion for building global partnerships and collaborative projects to advance the frontiers of human development.  

Visit LinkedIn for more about Chris Mackie.

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