Literacy Leadership Blog

News and reflections from experts and practitioners on the latest literacy research, events and daily practice

< Back

Learning Ally Appoints David Aycan Chief Solutions Officer Tapping Innovation and Design Culture to Solve America’s Literacy Crisis

Categories: General, In the news, Press Releases

For Immediate Release:

May 21, 2021 - Princeton, NJ - Learning Ally, a leading non-profit education solutions provider has appointed David Aycan, previously of IDEO, a design company known for its human-centered, interdisciplinary approach, to Chief Solutions Officer. 

In this newly created role, Aycan will guide the development of educator and student focused solutions and is charged with launching Learning Ally’s Whole Child Literacy System™, which is designed to improve America’s existing and growing literacy crisis. This groundbreaking approach strives to meet the needs of the whole child in learning to read, while supporting the educator with training and coaching, to drive improved outcomes in literacy.

Previously, Aycan was Managing Director at IDEO, focused on creative problem solving to build more innovative organizations and to develop products that helped companies lead through market changes. His career spans roles as both entrepreneur and intrapreneur, including leadership positions where he brought customer-focused thinking to organizations including MasterClass and Square. A thought leader and influencer, Aycan has been published numerous times for his content regarding innovation and creativity as applied to business, and has spoken at convergence conferences and festivals including SXSW. He holds an MBA from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, where he graduated with highest honors, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the same university.

“David’s appointment reflects our strategy to focus on transformation both inside and out,” said Andrew Friedman, CEO, Learning Ally. “The goal to deliver equity in education requires an approach that puts our nation’s students and educators at the center of everything we do.  David’s expertise in bringing entrepreneurial thinking and culture to organizations, and in designing products to solve important problems, will promote the kind of inventive work in literacy that we are aiming to deliver.”

“Students are slipping through the cracks. Literacy is a critical part of the foundation to support students along their journey to achieve success in school and in life,” said David Aycan, newly appointed Chief Solutions Officer. “I am truly honored to join Learning Ally and am dedicated to this big mission, looking to draw from research and apply design innovation and agile adaptive methodologies to bring solutions in PreK-12 to scale across the country to support educators and students.”

# # #

About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit education solutions organization dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allow us to support more than 1.5 million students and 200,000 educators across the US. The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is our cornerstone award-winning reading accommodation used in more than 18,500 schools to help students with reading deficits succeed. Composed of high quality, human-read audiobooks and a suite of teacher resources to monitor and support student progress, it is designed to turn struggling readers into engaged learners. 

For more information, visit

Sign up for the Whole Child Literacy Newsletter

Join our community and get the latest sent right to your inbox! Stay up to date on the latest news, research, and practical guidance.