Langbourne Rust Research, Inc

Our collaborators

Many years ago, Langbourne Rust Research emerged from being a heirarchical organization with permanent employees into a shape-shifting structure of professional colleagues, temporary workers and strategic partnerships. Here are the ones we work most closely with.

Lang Rust, President

Consumer psychologist, market researcher, inventor.

Langbourne Rust has devoted much of his career to bringing producers and educators closer to children and their parents, driven by the conviction that the better people understand children, the better they will serve them and the more successful they will be. 

A leader in the children's marketing research industry and a frequent speaker at professional conferences, he has written many papers in the professional press about children, research methods and consumer perception.   

He graduated from Harvard College and got a doctorate from Teachers College/Columbia University in Psychology where he concentrated on child development, cognition and psychological measurement.   He did post-doctoral work at Children's Television Workshop where his studies of children's attention to TV material were instituted as creative guidelines for Sesame Street and the Electric Company.    Langbourne Rust Research, Inc. was founded at that time and since then has assisted many of the country's major broadcasters, institutions and marketers develop new products and enrichment programs for children.

Lang was Associate Producer of NBC's Emmy- and Peabody-award-winning series, Go-USA, and their series of after-school specials. For many years he was retained as consultant to "Captain Kangaroo" and the children and tween advertising of McDonalds.

Much of his work was concerned with child health, socialization, and development issues and with developing new research technologies.  He conducted a large-scale field experiment for Sesame Workshop to assess the real-world impact of viewing DRAGON TALES upon preschoolers' tendencies to set goals for themselves and to persist at tasks in everyday life.  He did market segment profiling and qualitative interviewing for the US Forest Service's launching of the Junior Forest Ranger Program (with Smoky Bear). He performed website usage and perception study among populations of children, teens and parents for the Nemours Foundation's website (the most-visited site on the web for children's health issues) and he is engaged in developing new technologies for early Autism detection.. 

Dr. Rust has served on the Children's Research Council of the Advertising Research Foundation and has chaired their committee on developmental psychology. He is a member of the prestigious Market Research Council.  He has been actively involved in drug and tobacco prevention work with Columbia University’s School of Public Health and the University of Vermont's Office of Health Promotion. And every year since 2012 he has served as a judge on the Educational Business Plan Competition held jointly by The University of Pennsylvania and the Milken Foundation.


Dr. Frances Rust

Professor, scholar, educational innovator.

Frances is Professor Emeritus at New York University where she was Full Professor of Education from 1991 to 2007 and now is Senior Scholar at the university where she is launching her own, non-profit startup as director of the TCOOL project. TCOOL is the pilot project for a radical new model for teacher education in urban public schools. Her strategic partners include NYU's Metro Center, Brooklyn College and the Bank Street College of Education.

Frances was recently a Senior University Fellow and Director of Teacher Education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she continues on staff for the Penn Scholars program.

Frances began collaborating with Lang professionally at the start of their careers when they co-directed the Infant and Toddler Learning Laboratory at Briarcliff College. They now work together as opportunities arise,  recently on the development and assessment of new early childhood centers in China and on the launch of TCOOL.

First trained as a Montessori teacher, Frances founded and ran a number of very successful open-classroom preschools before going back to graduate work at Columbia University's Teachers College. Her doctoral thesis won the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association. In 1998, Teachers College awarded her the Distinguished Alumnae Award for her research and leadership in the field of teacher education. 




Dean Harris

Software technologist, entrepreneur in digital media, and currently mentor to dozens of startups in technology, education, publishing, fitness and retail.

For 8 years Dean was with Bell Labs as a programmer, software architect and mentor working on operation systems design, protocol development, and complex communications system design.

At Toshiba Labs, he lead and coordinated multinational software teams, developed and implemented studio systems, trained production staff in the use of those systems, and was awarded an Emmy for technical innovation for the California Video Center.

As a founder of Front Porch Video, he co-developed video codecs for Microsoft Studios, Licensed a number of encoders to production studios, and developed several media projects for Nike and HBO. Dean also designed and developed the first fully automated DVD engine with Sarnoff Labs.

While mentoring inner-city teenagers at Seed Philly, a coworking space for software developers, he met Lang Rust in 2012 and was soon mentoring him on one of his own development projects ("ClickIt"). The more they worked together over the years, the clearer it became to both of them that a future of working together was something to pursue.

Benjamin Vear

Entrepreneur, consultant, expert in Big Data, Machine Learning, Natural Language programming and Technology Transfer.

Ben invented, created and sold his first business while still in High School: a paperless airline ticketing system which he sold to Sabre. He begain an MBA program at the Kellogg school of  Northwestern University but left to start another company. He has been a founder of several startups of his own since that time.

He has given private talks at Alphabet, Inc (formerly Google), guest lectured at Kellogg School of Business, Quinlan, Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Computer Science, and the Brookings Institute

Beginning in 2008, Ben advised financial institutions on modern data warehousing, machine learning techniques in Chicago, New York, London, and San Francisco, taking firms with AUM of  > $3B out of the age of Excel and into modern regulation compliance. This work eventually led to independently working on the due diligence efforts directly with Senior Partners at Greylock and Kleiner Perkins in Silicon Valley. Ben advised teams that led investment rounds in Groupon, Uber, Square, Waze, Stripe, and others.

Ben met Lang at an alumni event for the high school they both attended (more than 35 years apart). An hour or two at the bar after the meeting, they had bonded and began an informal professional relationship of shared interests and values that has continued to evolve.

In addition to his relationship witn with Lang and Dean, Ben partners with Les Teichner in the Chicago Group, LLC, , through which they are active managing members/advisors of technology firms that wish to collaborate with and are of strategic interest to multinational corporations. The Chicago Group uses its technical and commercialization expertise to build rationalization for evolving technology in the context of competitive market conditions, the sources for capital and relationships to accelerate the diffusion of those technologies into industry.


Simeon Schnapper

Impact Entrepreneur.

A creative and international team leader who has led several successful companies on the cutting edge of new industries. His C-suite responsibilities have included raising capital, building teams, and strategic planning. His practical experience inclused executive management in technology, entertainment and nonprofits. He is an inspirational entrepreneur with exceptional presentation skills.

For 10 years, he was President and Trustee of the William Hinman Foundation which granted over $1M to projects in the US, Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal and Myanmar to preserve the cuture and heritage of Vajrayana Buddhism

He founded and is CEO of - a 21st-Century engagement platform to re-imagine learning and increase student engagement. It has won numerous awards including (among many other honor) the Rule Breaker award, the1776 Challenge Cup, and a MacArthur Foundation Digital Media learning Competition Winner,

Simeon has been an Aspen Institute Fellow since 2016. The Aspen Global Leadership Network, of which he is a member, is comprised of highly successful entrepreneurial leaders with a focus on values and sights on creating a better and more sustainable society.

One of his current startups is Big Data Block- a company that is aiming to change the future of big data processing by combining software that uses massive networks of computers to orchestrate large tasks and the distributed nodes of a global blockchain network.

Simeon met Lang at the 2013 Penn-Milken Business Plan Competition. Each was drawn to the other's spirit of adventure and creativity, and their relationship has grown over the years. Most recently, Simeon has provided real guidance and direction to the SkillShaper project.





Lang's picture

Lang - Now


Lang's picture Age 3

Lang a while ago



Lang at Play

Lang at play











Frances Rust - Now


Frances - a while ago








Dean Harris

Dean Harris - caught by surprise














   Ben Vear

 Benjamin Vear - at play
























     Simeon Schnapper

Simeon Schnapper - at work