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Blackboard Appoints Frank R. Gatti to Board of DirectorsSenior Financial Executive to Chair Audit Committee

4/28/2004 , WASHINGTON, DC - Blackboard Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry, today announced that Frank R. Gatti has been appointed to the Board of Directors and will Chair the Blackboard Audit Committee.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join the Company’s Board of Directors and chair the Audit Committee,” commented Mr. Gatti. “I have been particularly impressed with the overall leadership of the management team at Blackboard, and the Company's client-centric culture and commitment to serving the education technology needs of the global education industry.”

Gatti has more than thirty years of experience in financial management, specifically in the education and media industries where Blackboard operates. Since November of 1997 he has served as Chief Financial Officer for Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world’s largest private, testing and measurement organization with currently estimated fiscal 2004 consolidated revenues of $850 million. There he has played a critical role developing and implementing a three-year, $100+ million turnaround strategy that has returned the 57-year-old organization to financial health and stability since 2000. Gatti played a pivotal role in rationalizing the organization’s cost structure through the expanded use of technology, increased financial/administrative controls, and fiscal accountability tied to incentives for performance.

“In a time when corporate governance and financial practices are coming under ever closer scrutiny and regulation, we are delighted to have the benefit of Frank Gatti’s knowledge, experience, and integrity to advise us,” said Blackboard’s Chairman of the Board and co-founder Matthew S. Pittinsky. “Frank’s achievements at ETS have been tremendous and his financial acumen and Wall Street knowledge will be particularly beneficial to us during this exciting period of growth at Blackboard and in the industry.”

Prior to joining ETS, Gatti served in increasingly responsible positions at The New York Times Company, assuming the position of Vice President, Financial Management in January 1996. During his tenure with The Times, the company grew from primarily a single newspaper company to a media conglomerate, and he directly participated in multiple acquisitions and divestitures, as well as numerous public equity and debt offerings.

A certified public accountant, Gatti is a graduate of Baruch College of the City University of New York with a bachelor’s of business administration in accounting. Upon graduating, he joined the international public accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche (then known as Haskins & Sells), where he worked until he joined The Times Company. Gatti is a member of the Conference Board’s CFO Council and CFO Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of Financial Executives International (FEI), the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI), the Association for Financial Professionals, the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts, the New York and New Jersey Societies of Certified Public Accountants, and the Institute of Management Accounts. Gatti has also served on the Boards of Directors and on various committees of the New York City Chapters of FEI and NIRI.

Gatti joins other Blackboard Board members, including Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman of Blackboard Inc.; Michael L. Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard Inc.; Doug Alexander, Managing Director, Internet Capital Group; Robert E. Grady, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group; Stephen Gruber, Managing Partner, Oak Hill Capital Partners; Dr. Arthur Levine, President, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Roger Novak, Co-Founder, Novak Biddle Venture Partners.

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company’s product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite™. Blackboard’s clients include colleges, universities, schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia. # # #


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