Joe Licata


Joseph "Joe" Licata is the Founder and CEO of Canyon GBS, a growing Arizona-based education technology company and managed service provider originally launched in 2015. Canyon GBS exclusively services the higher education sector, and is a trusted North American partner for some of the largest institutions, EdTech companies, and non-profit organizations across the postsecondary education landscape. Canyon GBS is a two-time Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grantee in 2021 and 2023, for its work, expertise, and consulting on education technology and postsecondary success in higher education.

Joe has a history of creating and managing technology at some of the largest companies in the world, including Amazon Web Services, Mark43, Cengage Learning, Learning Objects, and others. In addition to that, he held IT leadership positions for more than a decade at the University of Maryland Global Campus, known as the largest distance learning provider in the United States, and the Maricopa County Community Colleges District, known as the largest community college system in the United States. He was also a former part-time professor at both Saint Leo University and Phoenix College, having taught over 70 credit hours in the classroom including face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities.

In 2022, Joe was the Educause Rising Star award winner, an honor that recognizes a notable and progressing career in higher education. He was recognized for his specialized expertise using technology to solve pernicious problems in postsecondary education. He is also a thought leader who has presented at Educause, and participated in panels and presentations in the lauded Chronicle of Higher Education. Finally, Joe is the Founder and Executive Director of Arizona Educates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on advancing higher education in the state of Arizona.

Joe has over 20 years of technology management experience, with 12+ years specializing in product management and software development. He holds a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Maryland, an MBA and Master of Science in Management from University of Maryland Global Campus, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida.

EDUCAUSE Presentations