With over 20 years of experience in the for-profit and non-profit education space, Albert Chen is an experienced operations and strategy officer with a proven record of revenue growth, business planning, and organizational transformation; he became the chief operating officer of PDK International on February 22, 2016 after a stint in operations and strategy consulting.
Mr. Chen’s operational and strategic career began as a part-teacher at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (KTPA) and quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Director of a number of different departments in the graduate division. Over his 12 years at KTPA, he was tapped to effect change and growth in a number of different departments and areas including marketing, academics, product research and development, field execution and brand management. Notable were the double digit year over year growth, development of presenter training, and the inception of Kaplan’s then Lessons on Demand.
Mr. Chen was then recruited into the non-profit world of education by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) for work in advocacy and operational change. Mr. Chen was the chief operating officer and chief strategy officer, and in those seven years, was instrumental in the transformation of the organization from a grants dependent non-profit into a programs based self-sufficient organization. In conjunction with the CEO, his work covered the entire operations and strategy of the organization including HR, IT, sales, customer service, membership, and strategic planning.
Mr. Chen also served as chief operating officer for Youth for Understanding, USA, an international exchange organization and was charged with transformation there as well, including the move of the organization’s headquarters from a 10,000 SF office in the outskirts of Bethesda, to a 32,000 SF facility in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC including an education center for the organization.
Mr. Chen is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering, and from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a Masters of Engineering in Biomechanics.
Mr. Chen believes that management’s role is to serve, and that his greatest achievements are those not found on his resume: nurturing teams, taking care of people, and mentoring those who will actually effect the changes to achieve an organization’s mission; he also believes in the importance of teaching and learning in education and along with his wife (whose work is in non-profit conservation development) work hard to make the world better for his two- and four-year old daughters.