Jeanette Betancourt, Ed.D.

Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop


Dr. Jeanette Betancourt is the Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop.  She oversees and manages the delivery high impact and targeted domestic and international outreach initiatives. She conceptualizes and implements compelling models for the delivery of Outreach initiatives that effect and engage children, families, caregivers, educators, and other providers. Sesame Workshop outreach initiatives involve the development of research-based multiple media resources designed specifically to meet the needs of children and adults in typically underserved communities, domestically and internationally.

She has directed Sesame Workshop Outreach initiatives in the areas of nutrition education (healthy habits), food insecurity, health and safety, school readiness, military family transitions, grief, music, child care, mutual respect and understanding, parenting, and English language learning. In addition, she manages the versioning of these initiatives into multiple languages as well as the formative and summative research that accompanies each project. She works collaboratively with several Sesame Workshop divisions to assure that content, language, and educational strategies are age appropriate as well as meet the needs of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. She manages a large group of consultants that are writers, editors and translators.  Dr. Betancourt maintains a comprehensive network of national organizations that are strategic partnerships for the delivery and execution of Sesame Workshop outreach initiatives.

Dr. Betancourt has overseen content development for the production, Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat and advised on the production, Dragon Tales.  She has also guided the content development for several Emmy nominated Sesame Street primetime specials under the outreach initiative to help military families coping with the challenges of deployment, homecomings, combat-related injuries, and the death of a loved one as well as families impacted by economic insecurity. She was the series content advisor for the award winning parenting programs, A Place of Our Own and Los niños en su casa. She has been involved in healthy habits outreach efforts in Colombia, S.A. as well as an early literacy and teacher training initiative in Jamaica.

Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Dr. Betancourt was the Director for Project Visiones, a bilingual vocational training program for Hispanic child care professionals at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.  She also coordinated efforts for restructuring social services in several middle school projects.

Dr. Betancourt is a licensed bilingual speech and language pathologist and educational therapist, with a specialty in treating families and children with psychiatric disorders.  She has consulted at several hospitals, schools systems, and private organizations.  She has also served on boards and committees that service children and families, including Leake and Watts Services, Inc., New York City Association for Children and Families, 2010 Alliance, United Way of New York, The Sub-Committee on Hispanic Education, Pfizer Health Journal Roundtable, Child Care Reads Campaign, Manhattan Community College Teacher Training Committee, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Hispanic Outreach Committee, National Council of La Raza Early Childhood Initiative, PSVRatings Board, and Anti-Defamation League Miller Early Childhood Initiative.  She is the Vice Chair Board trustee for Our World Neighborhood Charter School and served as Chairperson for the School Leadership Team at P.S. 84.

Dr. Betancourt received her BA from Herbert H. Lehman College, City University of New York, an MA in Speech and Language Pathology from Hofstra University, an MS in Bilingual Reading/Special Education from St. John’s University, and an Ed.D. in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.