It’s a sunny day for Jeffrey Dunn. The former Nickelodeon and HIT Entertainment executive is the new President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces PBS’ Sesame Street. Replacing the retiring M. Melvin Ming in the job, he Jeffrey Dunnbecomes the first outsider tapped to run the organization in its 46-year history. But Sesame Workshop is familiar with its new chief: From 2008-12, Dunn topped Thomas & Friends producer HIT Entertainment, which along with Sesame was a founding partner of preschool channel Sprout. Before that he was COO of Nickelodeon Networks and President of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises, where Dunn helped create Noggin, the  preschooler channel now known as Nick Jr. He serves as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University with a focus on media and education. He takes over at Workshop on September 29.

“Jeff Dunn has an outstanding track record in the world of children’s media,” Vincent Mai, Chairman of the Sesame Workshop Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “His current experience at Harvard is a testament to his commitment to the educational power of media, and we look forward to the Workshop thriving under his creative, inspired leadership.”