Contact Information:
(775) 852-3483 ext. 425



Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Authors of Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds

In 1999, philanthropists Bob and Jan Davidson founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a nonprofit operating foundation whose mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.

Jan Davidsonís career in education began at 13 years old when she started a tutoring service for her fellow students. In the late 1970s, Jan asked herself why computers were not being used to teach students at an individualized pace and she realized the potential of using computers as learning tools. In 1982, she founded Davidson & Associates, the educational software company that published award-winning products such as Math Blasterô and Reading Blasterô.

In 1989, Jan persuaded her husband, Bob, to leave his job as executive vice president of engineering and construction at the worldwide Parsons Corporation, and become chairman and CEO of Davidson & Associates. During the next few years, Davidson & Associates formed partnerships with Fisher-Price and Simon & Schuster, and made several strategic acquisitions including Blizzard Entertainment, a small entertainment software developer, whose products Warcraftô, Starcraftô and Diabloô became runaway best sellers.  Under Bobís leadership, Davidson & Associates became a publicly-traded, multi-million dollar company.

After selling Davidson & Associates in 1997, Bob and Jan decided to focus on philanthropic endeavors to help young people become successful learners. While researching ways to make a positive impact, they discovered that our nationís brightest students are arguably the most underserved and neglected in Americaís educational system. In 1999, a pilot group of 15 Young Scholars was established followed by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development ( being created in 2000 along with the official launch of the Davidson Young Scholars program.

In 2004, Simon & Schuster published the Davidsonsí award-winning book, Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds ( In 2005, they worked to pass Nevada state legislation to open a new kind of public school for profoundly gifted middle and high school students on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, called the Davidson Academy of Nevada (

Jan earned a doctorate in American studies and a masterís in communications from the University of Maryland, and earned her undergraduate degree at Purdue University.  She has also received honorary doctorates from Pepperdine University and Purdue University. Jan has served on the advisory boards of the National Association for Gifted Children and the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

Bob earned his juris doctorate degree from George Washington University, a masterís in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a bachelorís of science in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He also served as a director for both Pepperdine University and George Washington University. Bob currently serves on the advisory board of the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. In 2015, Bob was appointed to the Nevada System of Higher Educationís Board of Regents. 


Davidson Institute for Talent Development
9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B
Reno, Nevada 89521
Fax: 775-852-2184