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Big Thought Announces Mustapha Beydoun as New Chief Operating Officer
[January 25, 2023]

Big Thought Announces Mustapha Beydoun as New Chief Operating Officer

Big Thought, an impact education nonprofit, has named Mustapha Beydoun as its new chief operating officer. Dr. Beydoun will partner with Big Thought CEO Byron Sanders in this role to lead key departments across the organization, including finance, people and culture, information technology and operations.

"Dr. Beydoun's passion for fueling teamwork combined with his reputation for approaching the complexity of an organization with a people-centered focus make him the right leader to take the helm as COO," says Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought. "His diverse background will enable the organization to continue to grow and engage in more intricate work with increasingly higher stakes for our youth to transform their learning experience."

As the new COO, Dr. Beydoun will collaborate with various teams to improve current procedures and processes, innovating the way the organization serves the needs of its youth and partners. With a broad multidisciplinary background and expertise in fostering socially conscious solutions, he will bring imaginative solutionsthat will transform the way creativity belongs in a school and create learning models to shift how adults working in education and youth-development embrace youth agency.

Dr. Beydoun brings over 20 years of industry experience, having led operations at a high level for multiple organizations. He started his career as a faculty member of the urban planning programs at the University of Iowa and Texas Southern University. He later moved on to become a research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), managing air quality, transportation, hybrid truck technology, alternative fuel, solar and energy efficiency projects. Transitioning into an executive leadership role, Dr. Beydoun also served as HARC's vice president and chief operating officer, overseeing the company's strategic and administrative goals. He also worked for Abu Dhabi Ports (in the UAE) on the development of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), leading KIZAD's environmental, health and safety, security and regulations and compliance initiatives.

Dr. Beydoun holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University with specializations in environmental and energy planning, a master's of urban and regional planning from Florida Atlantic University and a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Florida. He is actively involved in external service activities, including serving on the Board of Air Alliance Houston and the Gulf Coast Workforce Board.


Big Thought is an impact education nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by equipping all youth in marginalized communities with the skills and tools they need to imagine and create their best lives and a better world. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out of school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention.

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