Shai Reshef

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Shai Reshef
Shai Reshef.jpg
President of University of the People
Assumed office
2009 (2009)
Preceded byPosition established
Personal details
Spouse(s)Rotem Reshef
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (MA)
OccupationBusinessperson, academic administrator

Shai Reshef (Hebrew: שי רשף) is an Israeli businessperson and academic administrator. He is the founder and president of University of the People.


Reshef earned an M.A. in Chinese Politics from the University of Michigan.[1]


From 1989 to 2005, Reshef served as Chief Executive Officer and then Chairman of the Kidum Group, a for-profit educational services and test preparation company.[2]

In January 2009, Reshef founded the University of the People (UoPeople), a non-profit, accredited online academic institution that seeks to increase the availability of higher education by offering tuition-free degrees.[3] He serves as the institution's president.[4]

In his 2014 TED Talk, entitled "An ultra-low-cost college degree", Reshef shared his vision to democratize knowledge. He views higher education as a human right. His TED Talk has been viewed over four million times as of 2017.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Reshef is married to painter Rotem Reshef and has four children.[1]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • In 2009, selected by OneWorld as one of its "People of 2009"[6]
  • In 2010, selected as the Huffington Post "Ultimate Game Changer in Education."[7]
  • In 2012, named one of the "50 People Changing the World" by Wired magazine's Smart List 2012[8]
  • In 2012, named as a "Top Global Thinker" by Foreign Policy magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers 2012[9]
  • In 2015, placed eighth on Salt Magazine's "100 Most Compassionate Business Leaders List"[10]
  • In 2016, awarded the Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation[11]


  1. ^ a b Wiener, Julie (2013-01-08). "An Israeli 'Citizen Of The World'". The New York Jewish Week. Retrieved 2020-04-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Lewin, Tamar (January 25, 2009). "Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free Global University That Will Be Online Only". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free Global University That Will Be Online Only. New York Times. January 26, 2009
  4. ^ "University of the People – The world's first tuition-free online university". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  5. ^ Umoh, Ruth (2017-09-18). "Here's how you can score a tuition-free MBA". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  6. ^ People of 2009: Shai Reshef OneWorld.Net
  7. ^ Who Is The Ultimate Game Changer In Education? Huffington Post September 15, 2010
  8. ^ The Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world Wired Magazine, January 24, 2012
  9. ^ The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers Archived 2014-04-02 at the Wayback Machine Foreign Policy Magazine, December 2012
  10. ^ 100 Most Compassionate Business Leaders: #8 Shai Reshef
  11. ^ Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy 2016

External links[edit]