Connor Diemand-Yauman

Lecturer, Marketing

Connor Diemand-Yauman

Lecturer in Management

Academic Area:


Over the last decade plus, Connor has focused his work on building organizations and projects focused on driving more equity (the justice kind, not the stock market kind) and opportunity through education.

Connor is currently co-CEO of Merit America, a nonprofit preparing low-wage, underrepresented workers for skilled careers at scale. Prior to Merit America, he cofounded and led Philanthropy U, the world’s largest trainer of working adults in the social sector, and launched Coursera’s B2B strategy and business line. And before that, he created “Speak Smart News,” an educational program distributed to 10M East Asian learners, and taught primary school in South Africa, South Korea, and Kenya.

Connor is a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches a course on using humor in leadership. His academic research on improving learning outcomes has been cited in over 250 academic articles and covered by The Economist, BBC International, and The New York Times. He is the recipient of the Pyne Prize, Princeton University’s highest distinction, and was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30. In 2018, Connor was recognized as an education and sustainable development expert by the World Economic Forum, and currently serves on their Expert Network coalition. He is a founding member of McKinsey’s Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning & Development, a member of the Human Rights Watch San Francisco committee, and a featured contributor on the Huffington Post.

Academic Degrees

  • BA, Cognitive Psychology, Princeton, 2010

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2019–present

Professional Experience

  • Co-CEO, Merit America, 2020–present
  • Cofounder and CEO, Philanthropy University, 2016–2020
  • Founding Member, Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning & Development, 2016–present
  • Head of B2B Vertical, Coursera, 2013–2016
  • VP, Educational Broadcasting Service, 2010–2012
  • Founder and CEO, Own What You Think, 2009–2014
  • Head of Instructor Community, Batiq, 2006–2008

Awards and Honors

  • Forbes 30 Under 30, 2016
  • Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, 2010
  • Cognition and Student Learning Prize, Cognitive Science Society, 2010

Stanford Case Studies

Drake Pooley, Jennifer Aaker, Naomi Bagdonas, Connor Diemand-Yauman
Imogen Mansfield, Jennifer Aaker, Connor Diemand-Yauman, Naomi Bagdonas
Oriekose Idah, Connor Diemand-Yauman, Jennifer Aaker, Naomi Bagdonas

In the Media

Insights by Stanford Business

November 01, 2021
Five lessons in five minutes: Professor Jennifer Aaker and her team teach you how to make humor your superpower.