After two-and-a-half years of developing and incubating the nation’s first ever scholastic approach to gaming and esports, known as the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), the Samueli Foundation has spun NASEF off to a newly formed independent nonprofit entity known as WWSEF (World Wide Scholastic Esports Foundation) to ensure its sustainability and long term global impact. NASEF will serve as WWSEF’s foundational approach to connecting the fun of electronic and virtual play (gaming and esports along with other technologies) with learning and skills development for students around the world.
Todd Harris, the new CEO of WWSEF, is also co-founder of Hi-Rez Studios, an industry-leading video game developer, and founder and CEO of Skillshot Media, one of the nation’s leading esports infrastructure companies. He said, “WWSEF is committed to the mission and vision of NASEF. We have put together a true A-List group of academic and field leaders to elevate and scale NASEF’s approach to scholastic esports.”
Effective January 1, 2021, NASEF will begin operations under the management of WWSEF. NASEF’s mission of engaging students in curriculum and career pathways through the lens of gaming and esports will continue seamlessly. To ensure a smooth transition, WWSEF has secured the services of NASEF’s founder, Gerald Solomon, former executive director of the Samueli Foundation for 12 years, to run the program as executive director. “NASEF’s impact and potential for global scale is simply too much a magnet for me not to be involved,” said Solomon. “I am excited and honored to be working with such a highly respected group of recognized leaders.”
WWSEF will be led by notable national and global leaders:
- Dr. Clint Kennedy, North American Director of Learn2Esport
- Brooke Haag, former education director for Microsoft for esports and gaming
- Garvey Candella, director of Amazon’s Twitch Student program
- Ryan Johnson, CEO of Cxmmunity, a non-profit esports program focused on ensuring diversity, equity, and access in gaming and esports
- Dr. Constance Steinkuehler, Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine (UCI)
- Mark Deppe, Program Director for UCI Esports, the nation’s gold standard in collegiate esports
As part of the transition, the Samueli Foundation will provide interim support to ensure the success of this independent venture. Schools and programs around the world can be confident that what NASEF has been developing will not only continue, but will thrive in this next iteration both in the U.S. and around the world.
About the North America Scholastic Esports Federation
The North America Scholastic Esports Federation is on a mission to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. Find NASEF on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.