About Us

THE MECHNER FOUNDATION is a tax-exempt private foundation established and funded by Dr. Francis Mechner as a charitable trust.



Francis Mechner
PhD, President

Dr. Francis Mechner founded the Mechner Foundation in 1997 as the successor of prior non-profits through which he had been funding his pursuits and research activities since 1960. Rather than seeking grants or institutional support, he has chosen this funding route so as to maintain his independence and freedom to undertake particularly innovative projects. A detailed bio for Dr. Mechner can be found here.

Jordan Mechner
BA, Yale University

Jordan created the bestselling video games Karateka and Prince of Persia—both classics and major influences on the action-adventure videogame genre. Prince of Persia is one of the most successful videogame franchises to date, and the Disney feature film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was one of the highest-grossing videogame movie adaptations ever. Jordan also wrote the New York Times best-selling Eisner award-nominated graphic novel Templar.

Emily Mechner
PhD in Economics, Harvard University

Dr. Emily Mechner was Assistant Professor of Economics at Bates College, ME, and senior consultant at Bates White, LLC, a Washington, D.C. economic consulting firm. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Oyster School Community Council, and has previously served as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (2007-8), an elected position in the government of the District of Columbia.

David Mechner
Chief Executive Officer of Pragma Securities

David Mechner is co-founder and CEO of Pragma Securities, which is a leader in providing automated trading technology to the finance industry. Mechner also serves on the board of directors of the Blacksmith Institute. Previously, he was a doctoral fellow at New York University’s Center for Neural Science where he studied the biology of learning and memory, and led a research effort to develop a Go-playing program based on artificial intelligence. David is among the highest ranked non-Asian Go players in the world.

Managing Director

Laurilyn Jones
BA, Yale University

Laurilyn Jones has worked with Dr. Mechner for 20 years managing and administering the Mechner Foundation’s projects and activities, which include long-running basic and applied research programs in the field of learning, analyzing and presenting data, and publishing articles in scientific journals in the field of behavior analysis and learning. She also manages the administrative functions for Queens Paideia School, and the development of several innovative educational products. She is currently completing her doctoral work at Oslo & Akershus University College.  You can find out more about her research interests here: Laurilyn D. Jones on ResearchGate

Advisory Board