Tina Sciabica, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Tina leads READ Global’s strategy, partnerships and fundraising. She has spent the past decade working toward a more just and sustainable world, and brings a wealth of non-profit and social sector experience to the organization.
Prior to READ, Tina was Deputy Director of Social Venture Network (SVN), a peer-to-peer network of more than 500 social entrepreneurs working together to solve critical global issues. While at SVN, Tina created and managed the SVN Innovation Awards, a program recognizing social entrepreneurs and emerging enterprises that are changing the shape of business. Tina was also one of the first Chapter Leaders for Room to Read, an international nonprofit providing educational opportunities for children in the developing world. During her five years serving the organization, Tina managed the Chicago and San Francisco chapters and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of education programs in Asia. Previously, Tina was also a commercial litigation attorney in Chicago and subsequently founded and managed a legal recruitment firm.
Today, Tina brings her expertise and passion to leading READ Global. She was instrumental in creating READ’s 2010 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action: its Women’s Empowerment Centers Initiative. Tina received a bachelor of science in investment finance from the University of Illinois and a juris doctor from Indiana University School of Law.
Naita Saechao Chialvo, Deputy Director
Naita serves as Deputy Director of READ Global, overseeing a wide range of strategic responsibilities including marketing, fundraising, programs, finance and operations. Naita is passionately committed to improving livelihoods and education to address the grand challenges of poverty and international development. Prior to joining READ Global, Naita served as Assistant Director of The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program overseeing programs across 20 countries in Asia. Earlier in her career, Naita also managed and supported the professional development of teaching candidates with Stanford’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) connecting teaching candidates with veteran mentor teachers across the Bay Area. Naita's diverse experiences include teaching on the island of Ailinglaplap in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and managing large institutional investment portfolios with Mellon Capital Management. She received her BA in Economics and MA in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Megan Volk, Asia Regional Director
As Asia Regional Director, Megan collaborates closely with READ Country Offices on operations, program design and fundraising. Having worked in the development field for more than 15 years, Megan is a passionate advocate for libraries as agents for sustainable, local development. Prior to joining READ, Megan served as the director of the Bibliomist program, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative implemented by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) to revitalize Ukraine's public library system. She also worked at at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) managing community development, democracy building and minority empowerment programs. Megan received her BA in international relations from Michigan State University and her MA in public policy from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.
Irma Gogiashvili, Global Development and Operations Manager
Irma comes to READ Global with a diverse portfolio of INGO and nonprofit experiences. She started her career with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) where she helped to strengthen human rights and democratic processes around Eastern Europe. Irma worked closely with OSCE's Election Observation Mission in Georgia in 1995 when the first democratic elections were held in an independent Georgia after 70 years of Soviet rule. After moving to the US, Irma continued her education in International Conflict Resolution and received her Master's from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Since then, Irma has worked with bay area organizations including The Asia Foundation, Give2Asia, and Amazon Watch. Most recently, she managed finance at the World Affairs Council leading a systems change project.
Irma is passionate about women's empowerment education experiencing firsthand the power that more accessible education opportunities can hold. She is fluent in Georgian, French, Russian and English. Irma's creative energies also include organizing arts and cultural events in the bay area that expand the understanding of Georgian heritage and encourages the dialogue between Americans and people from other countries.
Ryan Elwood, Business Development and Communications Associate
Ryan bolsters READ’s communications channels, marketing, fundraising, and operations. Hailing from an eclectic background working with mission-driven tech companies and Benefit Corporations, she brings her unique knowledge of over 8 years working in Marketing, Sales, and Public Relations to the nonprofit sector. Her previous positions include working with the highly touted Hack Reactor, Ecosia, and Hustle. In her work and life as an activist, she is extremely passionate about ending gender-based violence and closing the gap in education by supporting literacy programs around the world.
After traveling through much of South East Asia, she landed in Nepal, building sustainable, seismic-proofed houses in the Dhadig Region. Taken by it's people and culture, she returned to America four months later, knowing she wanted to get involved supporting education in these areas.
Ed Lhee, READ Global Board Chair; Partner, New Harbor Capital LLC
Mr. Lhee is co-founder of New Harbor Capital LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on investing in growth-oriented business services, healthcare and education companies. Mr. Lhee currently serves on the board of PT Solutions, a provider of outpatient physical therapy services; Royall & Company, a provider of outsourced lead generation to colleges and universities; and Acton Mobile Industries, a provider of temporary modular space and other related services. Mr. Lhee also serves as an advisor to Sikka Software, a provider of business intelligence software for the healthcare and small business communities. Mr. Lhee is a member of the board of Hanul Family Alliance, a non-profit focused on providing community-based services to Korean-American seniors and families. Prior to forming New Harbor, Mr. Lhee was at CHS Capital and Morgan Stanley & Co. Mr. Lhee earned a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Sabina Ahmed, Strategy & Ops Manager, Effectiveness, Google
Sabina has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, management consulting, sales, finance and operations for private equity and high technology companies in the Bay Area. She has previously held senior positions at Urchin Partners, Opportunity Capital Partners, Vodafone AirTouch, Deloitte Consulting among others, and is currently at Google, Inc. in Sales Operations for the Americas. Sabina serves on the Board of Upwardly Global, an award-winning Bay Area non-profit which helps to match skilled legal immigrants with U.S. employers. Growing up in Bangladesh as a young girl, she was passionate about helping the disadvantaged and proactively contributed to local area women's rehabilitation and youth literacy trainings. She experienced firsthand the invaluable impact on those most in need of these services, and believes strongly in READ’s mission and model. She remains well connected to the region where her family still resides, and looks forward to visiting READ’s centers in the near future. Sabina holds an MS in Management (MBA) and a Bachelor of Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Melissa Anderson, Psy.D, Consulting Lower School Psychologist, The Agnes Irwin School
With over 20 years of experience as a certified psychologist, Melissa Anderson is currently a Consulting Lower School Psychologist at The Agnes Irwin School, where she acted as a supervisor and is currently co-creating curriculum for the social-emotional health of girls. Prior to this, Melissa’s wide breadth of work includes helping low-income students go to college through Philadelphia Futures and White-Williams Scholars, supervising graduate students’ work with families at Widener University, and consulting with schools and daycares in the Philadelphia area to improve parent-child relationships. Melissa received her Doctor of Psychology in 1995 from Widener University. Melissa and her family have spent time in Nepal visiting READ's work and have supported the organization for many years.
Brian Bannon, Commissioner, Chicago Public Library
Brian Bannon is currently the Commissioner for the Chicago Public Library, where he is responsible for leading the city’s 80 libraries that serve the 2.6 million residents of Chicago. He previously served as the Chief Information Officer at the San Francisco Public Library, where he managed digital strategy, information technology, web, media, and online services. Earlier in his career, Brian acted as the Program Coordinator for the Native American Access to Technology Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He frequently presents at conferences on issues relating to information access, digital media and learning, and the digital divide, and was honored by the Library Journal as an industry “Mover and Shaker” in 2010. He holds an MLIS from the University of Washington, and received a BA from Pacific Lutheran University.
Deborah Jacobs, Director, Global Libraries initiative, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Deborah Jacobs, director of the Global Libraries initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, oversees the foundation’s work toward improving people’s lives in developing and transitioning countries through useful, used, and sustainable public access to information and communications technology in public libraries. Prior to joining the foundation in 2008, she served as Seattle City Librarian for 11 years. In addition to directing the Seattle Public Library system, Deborah led a $291 million capital-improvement program called “Libraries for All” that funded the construction of a new Central Library and renovated, built, or expanded 26 branch libraries. During her tenure as Seattle City Librarian, circulation of library materials in the Seattle library system nearly doubled. Deborah began her career as a children’s librarian more than three decades ago, and has received a number of honors throughout her career. Among other recognitions, Deborah has been named by Seattle Magazine as one of Seattle's 25 Most Influential People and was included as one of Governing Magazine's Public Officials of the Year in 2001, the first librarian ever to receive this honor. She received a BA in Government from Mills College and an MLS from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Antonia Neubauer, READ Global Founder ; Founder and CEO, Myths and Mountains
Dr. Antonia (Toni) Neubauer has been traveling to Nepal since 1983. Twenty years ago, she asked a casual question of a Nepalese guide: "What is the one thing you would like to see in your village?” When she got the answer "a library,” Toni sprang into action. A former language teacher and education researcher, she had directed major studies on literacy and school-business partnerships in the US and served as a consultant to the Pew Foundation, Lilly Endowment and the U.S. Department of Education. Founding READ Global was what she had to do. Today dozens of self-sustaining, community-chosen, READ Community Library and Resource Centers dot the landscapes of 3 countries, thanks to her energy and forward-thinking take on rural needs and village abilities.
Karen Sage, Co-Founder, Corporate Visions, Inc. ; Owner, Hotel Sutter
Karen Sage is co-founder of the global consulting firm Corporate Visions, whose goal is to help organizations with complex products create simple, compelling and differentiating messages. Corporate Visions' clients include Oracle, Tata, Dell, Siemens, & GE to name a few. In 2010, Karen sold her interests in Corporate Visions Inc. Karen is also the co-author of the book Samurai Selling. She attended Baylor University and received her Bachelor degree from University of Houston and holds certifications in various behavioral sciences. Education is at the core of her life's work, whether it's starting a Montessori school in a log cabin in Eureka Springs, Arkansas or training high tech companies in the art of messaging. She created a non-profit organization that connects corporate donors with local charities under a unique asset gifting program and takes joy in supporting worthy charities with her messaging expertise. Karen believes in READ Global's transformative work and is honored to contribute to its dynamic growth.
Sarah Street, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Innovation, XL Catlin
Sarah Street is Executive Vice President, strategy and innovation initiatives. In that role, she is a director of XL Innovate, XL's venture capital fund and is non executive chairman of New Ocean Asset Management. She previously served as XL's Chief Investment Officer for almost where she was responsible for investment strategy, including asset allocation, performance, compliance and risk management and was a member of XL's Leadership team. Sarah joined XL in 2001 as CEO of XL Capital Investment Partners where she led both the hedge fund investing activities and investment manager affiliate program where XL buys minority stakes in specialty asset management companies. Before joining XL Group, Sarah served at JPMorgan Chase for 16 years, including 10 years focused on hedge funds.
Having spent a year as a student volunteering in India, running nursery schools and women's programs in rural villages, Sarah has seen many of the challenges faced by women and children. She strongly believes in READ's ability to make a sustainable difference in the lives of those it serves.
Sarah earned her M.A. with honors from Oxford University.