Doug ardently believes universities play an indispensable role in the development of nations, communities, and individuals, and that more students deserve access to the resources of the world’s top-tier universities. His work has been driven by his vision of using highly innovative design principles to deliver breakthroughs in quality and scale for all levels of education.
In 1983, Doug co-founded Sterling Partners — since then the firm has become a leading investor in education and other industries, having made over 80 investments over the years.
Doug subsequently founded Laureate Education, the largest higher education company in the world, which grew to more than 1,000,000 students enrolled at 70 campus-based and online institutions owned or managed by Laureate and its affiliates. These universities operated over 150 campuses in 23 countries around the world, offering bachelors and advanced degrees in almost every field of study. Under Doug’s leadership, Laureate became the world’s largest Certified B Corp™ and the first publicly traded company that is organized as a Public Benefit Corporation. Doug served as Chairman and CEO of Laureate from its inception in 1999 through the end of 2017 and as Chairman through 2018.
Prior to founding Laureate, Doug was the Chairman and CEO of its predecessor, Sylvan Learning Systems, during which period Sylvan became the largest K-12 tutoring company in North America, with over 1,000 tutoring centers, more than 200,000 students and a brand that became a household name. Along with co-founder Chris Hoehn-Saric, Doug launched many other notable education companies within Sylvan during this period including Sylvan Prometric (Now Prometric Inc.) which became the global leader in computer-based testing and assessment.
As part of his commitment to community service, Doug has served on many non-profit boards and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins International. He has served for 16 years as the Chair of the Board of the International Youth Foundation, a global NGO focusing on the needs of youth in over 100 countries, including many of the most impoverished nations. As of September 2022, he will continue to serve as Chair Emeritus.