Colleen Russo Johnson

VP, Digital and Cultural Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon


Dr. Colleen Russo Johnson is a developmental psychologist with an expertise in children's tech & media. She is currently the VP of Digital and Cultural Consumer Insights at Nickelodeon where she researchers children’s digital content and provides landscape insights for Noggin, Nickelodeon, and Paramount. Colleen was previously the Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of the award-winning EdTech app, OK Play, a creative community built for kids to create, play and share content. At OK Play, which was acquired by a web3 company, Colleen oversaw the Curriculum, UX Research, and Trust & Safety teams. She has also served as the Director of Research of Sinking Ship Entertainment, working on both Emmy-award winning children’s TV shows and apps, and has consulted for various companies. She is the co-author of bestselling children's books in the Dino Dana Field Guide trilogy. Passionate about bridging the academic-industry divide, Colleen is an adjunct professor at Toronto Metropolitan University where she co-founded the Children’s Media Lab, and was a founding co-director of the Center for Scholars and Storytellers at UCLA. She holds a PhD from Vanderbilt University where she was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow. Most importantly, she is the proud mom to two children, with a third on the way, who fuel her passion for both creating quality kids tech & media, and researching critical topics that will help them create a better, more equitable world.