Photo from last year's summit with speaker presenting & attendees listening

Speaker Bios

Dr. Cable Green

Dr. Cable Green works with the global open education community to leverage open licensing, open content, and open policies to significantly improve access to quality, affordable, education and research resources so everyone in the world can attain their education goals. He’s a leading advocate for open licensing policies that ensure publicly funded education materials are freely and openly available.

Dr. Green helps lead the global open education movement and is the Director of Open Education at Creative Commons (CC) - a nonprofit organization at the center of an international movement to promote sharing of creativity and knowledge. CC provides the well-known suite of open licenses that have become the global standard used by governments, institutions and individuals across culture, education, and science, to promote sharing, collaboration and innovation. The CC licenses are everywhere—1.2+ billion are in use across 9 million websites—making it easy for anyone to freely access and use open educational resources.

Dr. Green has 20 years of academic technology, online learning, and open education experience and helped establish the Open Course Library. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in educational psychology from Ohio State University, and enjoys motorcycling and playing in the mountains with his family. He lives in Olympia with his wife and two boys.

Marilyn Billings

Marilyn Billings is the Interim Director, Instructional Innovation and Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she has been the head of the Office of Scholarly Communication at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library since 2006.

She provides leadership in alternative scholarly communication strategies, including open access, open education and the role of digital repositories in today’s academic environment. She oversees the management of the UMass Amherst institutional repository ScholarWorks @ UMass Amherst and provides leadership and inspiration for the campus’ Open Education Initiative established in 2011. At the national level, she is a member of SPARC’s OER Advisory Committee and is an Open Textbook Network presenter.

Dr. Marie A. Cini

Dr. Marie A. Cini is the Provost Emeritus, University of MD University College and currently the Higher Education Lead for Servicemembers’ Opportunity Colleges-Modernization.

After five years as Provost at UMUC, she moved to a Senior Innovation fellow on July 1, 2017, to impact higher education as a thought leader.

As a strategic leader creating new ways to serve adult learners, she has focused her practice and research on empowering learners. Dr. Cini has deep experience in the development and management of undergraduate and graduate programs focused on the adult learner at both public and private institutions. 

Dr. Cini’s experience as an academic dean, vice provost, and provost has convinced her that learning must replace education as our goal. 

During her tenure at UMUC, she led the development of an outcomes-based curriculum focused on post-graduation results in the undergraduate school, created the Center for Innovation in Learning and Student Success, and led both the undergraduate and graduate schools to completely replace publisher textbooks with Open Educational Resources. 

Dr. Cini is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and a contributor to publications and outlets on the topics of future trends in higher education, organizational change leadership, scaling online education, and utilizing OER to increase learning quality and drive down student costs. Her current projects involve combining technology with community organizations to create new forms of community-based higher education.

Dr. Daniel DeMarte

Dr. Daniel DeMarte joined Tidewater Community College (TCC) in August 2009. He currently serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. In this role, he leads several functional areas in support of teaching and learning: Academics, Apprenticeships, eLearning, Faculty Development, Intercultural Learning, Learning Technologies, and the Libraries. He is also responsible for the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center, the NSF funded Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center, and the Center for Veterans and Military Education.

With 25 years of experience in community colleges, Dr. DeMarte previously served as Vice Provost for student and learning development at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan. He served in other roles at Macomb in which he was responsible for strategic planning and academic operations.

Dr. DeMarte began his career at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York. He earned his doctorate degree in higher education administration with a specialization in community colleges from North Carolina State University. While working on his doctorate, he served as associate director for the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness. He received his master’s and undergraduate degrees from the State University of New York. Dr. DeMarte began his college education at the Community College of the Air Force while serving on active duty in the mid-1980s.

Dr. David Ernst

Dr. David Ernst is the Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ernst is the Director of the Center for Open Education and Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network (OTN). The OTN is an alliance of 600 higher education institutions committed to improving education through the use of open textbooks. David created and manages the Open Textbook Library ( - a single source for faculty to find quality openly licensed textbooks.

Dr. Ernst earned his Ph.D. in Education, Learning Technologies, from the University of Minnesota.

David has run workshops at dozens of colleges and universities, and has presented at many venues, including talks at TEDxKyoto in Kyoto, Japan, and TEDxUMN in Minneapolis, MN, USA. David is also a team leader and board member for Xperitas - a non-profit that works to promote peace, justice and respect through cross-cultural understanding and global cooperation.

In 2011, David completed a swim from Alcatraz to the shore of San Francisco. And in 2013, he swam around the Statue of Liberty with his three sons.

Nicole Finkbeiner

Nicole Finkbeiner is the Associate Director of Institutional Relations for Rice University’s free textbook initiative, OpenStax, where she focuses on developing and managing the relationships with faculty adopters and administrators. A graduate of Kellogg Community College, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State University, she worked in college relations for community colleges prior to joining OpenStax. When not promoting Open Educational Resources, Nicole fills her time reading, working out, and dragging her friends to random cultural events.

Dr. Gerry Hanley

Gerard L. Hanley Ph.D. is the Executive Director of MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Technology Services for the California State University, Office of the Chancellor. At MERLOT, he directs the development, delivery, and sustainability of MERLOT’s organization and services to enhance teaching and learning with academic technologies. At the CSU, Gerry oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services and resources, academic technology services, and the accessible technology initiative supporting the CSU’s 23 campuses. Previously held positions in the CSU include Professor of Psychology, Director of Faculty Development and Director of Strategic Planning. He received his BA, MA, and PhD from SUNY at Stony Brook in Psychology.

Amy Hofer

Amy Hofer, Coordinator, Statewide Open Education Library Services, is the OER librarian for Oregon's 17 community colleges. You can visit the Open Oregon Educational Resources website at She is a co-author of the forthcoming book "Transforming Information Literacy Instruction: Threshold Concepts in Theory and Practice." By night she is a fiddler and square dance caller.


Ethan Senack

As Outreach and Policy Manager for Creative Commons USA, Ethan focuses on crafting a message and strategy around open licensing, and educating decision-makers about its potential. He is currently working to convene educators and institutions around flipping the funding model for textbook production. Previously at U.S. PIRG, Ethan worked as an advocate for students on affordable and accessible higher education, organized youth voter turnout campaigns, and conducted research around open educational resources and their impact.