Tina Sciabica, Executive Director
For the last 8 years, Tina has brought her expertise and passion to leading READ Global as Executive Director. Tina leads READ Global’s strategy, partnerships and fundraising efforts. During this time, READ Global has been recognized by President Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Member Gathering and received the Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize from the Wharton School. She has spent the past 15 years working toward a more just and sustainable world, and brings a wealth of non-profit and social sector experience to the organization.
Prior to joining READ as ED in 2010, Tina served as Deputy Director of Social Venture Network (SVN), a peer-to-peer network of several hundred business leaders and social entrepreneurs working together to solve critical global issues using business as a positive force for change. 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. Before that, Tina was 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 and visited READ’s work in Nepal, India, Cambodia and Vietnam. Tina started her professional career as a commercial litigation attorney (working on securities litigation and then complex insurance coverage matters related to environmental litigation claims) and later founded and ran an attorney recruitment firm that served Chicago’s premier law firms.
Tina received a bachelor of science in investment finance, with honors, from the University of Illinois and a juris doctor, cum laude, from Indiana University School of Law. She served as Executive Editor of the Indiana University Journal of Legal Studies.
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 through 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, 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 eight years working 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.
Sabina Ahmed, Strategy Planning Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
Sabina has over 25 years of experience in strategy, investment banking, management consulting, sales, finance and operations in the Bay Area. She has previously held senior positions at Google, Urchin Partners, Opportunity Capital Partners, Vodafone AirTouch, Deloitte Consulting among others, and is currently at Enterprise Testing's Strategic Initiatives team at Wells Fargo. Sabina previously served 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, she has always been passionate about helping the disadvantaged and volunteered extensively to local area women's rehabilitation and youth literacy training as a young girl. She experienced firsthand the invaluable impact of these services to those in need, reinforced further by her visits to READ's centers in Nepal. Sabina holds an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Business 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.
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.