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We’re pleased to announce our keynote speakers for TLC APAC 2020


Professor Peter Francis
Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Northumbria University, Newcastle

Peter is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Criminology at Northumbria University, UK. With a track record in higher education leadership, Peter’s responsibilities include learning, teaching and the student experience, the academic portfolio, and annual planning and budget setting. He line manages the University’s Faculty PVCs, as well as the Director of Academic Registry / Student, Staff and Library Services.

Currently Peter is leading a programme of work on Technology, Education and Student Outcomes. This programme is transforming Northumbria’s approach to learning and teaching, and includes the implementation of Blackboard Ultra VLE, Electronic Management of Assessment, Innovative Learning Environments, Student Attendance, and Distance Learning with Pearson. As part of this programme, he is responsible for leading a major innovation on ‘Educational Analytics’, working with Civitas Learning and using student data to create thriving and striving student cultures. He was awarded a £2m through the OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition to look at student mental health and wellbeing delivered through advanced educational data analytics, relationship management, and effective models of support.

Peter has undertaken extensive research and knowledge exchange activity, working as one of ten Senior Advisors to the Home Office in the 2000s. He is currently completing a monograph on Contemporary Criminological Theory for Sage Publications; writing on critical realism; and supervising doctoral research on employability. He has just published three articles on educational analytics, and on the platform society.


Dr. Samson Tan
Head of Centre for Innovation in Learning (IN-Learning)
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Dr Samson Tan is currently Head of the Centre for Innovation in Learning at the National Institute of Education (NIE). As a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee, IT Governance Committee and MOOC Steering Committee, he drives learning innovations and shapes digital learning policies at NIE. He has over 20 years of involvement in education, with a focus in academic professional development and learning innovation.  Prior to joining NIE, Samson was responsible for professional development of academic staff and pedagogical innovation at the Republic Polytechnic (RP). He spearheaded RP’s digital learning, design and delivery of e-learning training and collaboration with other institutions.

In his previous role in RP, Samson was responsible for leading the SkillsFuture initiatives, providing research, consultation and training in workplace learning for the Logistics, Hotel and Biomedical sectors. Samson lectured/trained curriculum design and innovation in learning related subjects in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. He graduated with a Doctor of Education (EdD) from the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2007 and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Hull. His research interest is in learning innovation and workplace learning.

Samson is a member of the Executive Board of Association for Problem-based and Active Learning (, the Executive Committee of Educational Research Association of Singapore (ERAS, Advisory Board of RMIT School of Engineering, Aviation Industry Advisory Committee, Singapore and editorial board of Journal for Applied Learning and Teaching (JALT).


Kathy Vieira
Chief Strategy, Portfolio & Marketing Officer

As Chief Strategy, Portfolio and Marketing Officer, Kathy Vieira is responsible for the development and execution of Blackboard’s corporate, portfolio and marketing strategy, ensuring Blackboard continues to deliver and demonstrate innovative solutions that align with client, partner and industry needs. In this role, Kathy oversees key functions including corporate strategic planning, business development, portfolio and platform strategy, business line leadership, product and partner management, and marketing and communications.


Lee Blakemore
Chief Client Officer & President, Global Markets

Lee Blakemore is Chief Client Officer and President of Global Markets. In this joint role, he acts as a champion of Blackboard’s clients, representing the needs of faculty, students, school administrators, IT professionals, instructional designers and professional learners who have partnered with or use Blackboard products and solutions. He also leads Blackboard’s global go-to-market and business operations organisation. By leveraging the company’s broad portfolio of capabilities and market expertise, Lee and his team enable institutions and organisations of all types to solve their most complex challenges by putting learners and world-class technology solutions at the heart of everything they do.


Tim Tomlinson
Chief Product Officer

Tim serves as Blackboard’s Chief Product Officer. In this role, he is responsible for the design, development, and delivery of the company’s innovative and comprehensive product portfolio, and for providing a world-class support experience to Blackboard clients. Tim has more than twenty years of experience engineering technology solutions and leading software development projects and teams. Previously, he was Blackboard’s Vice President of Product Development, where his responsibilities spanned leadership of open source services from Open LMS, Blackboard’s Analytics product portfolio, solutions for K-12 Community Engagement, and most recently, Blackboard Learn. In that role, he established a new Cloud Services Product Development team in 2012 and spearheaded the company’s first steps on the path to embracing SaaS and public Cloud technologies.

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