READ Global Board of Directors
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.
Steven Biedermann, Asia Regional Director - Programs and Finance
Steven joined the READ team in January of 2015. Steven formerly served as Chief Financial Officer with Namaste Solar in Boulder, CO after spending the previous year as Director of Finance and Portfolio Management with Save the Children in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining Save the Children, Steven served five years in the administration of former CEO, and current U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan at Chicago Public Schools as Senior Investment Portfolio Manager managing the Operating Fund and Capital Projects/Debt Service Funds for the district of over 600 schools.
Steven’s finance foundation was built throughout a fifteen-year career in the investment banking, capital markets, and asset management business with Fidelity Investments, Shearson Lehman Brothers, and Banc One Capital Markets.
Complementing this professional experience, Steven has shown a commitment to local and international service - as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer following the events of 9/11 working as a mathematics teacher in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, as a founding Board member of Moneythink.org at University of Chicago, as Country Director in Iraq and project manager in South Sudan for large scale international development organizations, and most recently teaching English to university students in the West Bank and to Buddhist monks at a monastery in Pharping, Nepal.
A graduate of DePaul University with a B.S. in Finance, Steven and his wife Kinley live with their growing family in Kinley’s home in the Himalayan country of Bhutan.
Sara Litke, Senior Program Officer
As READ Global's Senior Program Officer, Sara manages the organization's monitoring activities and oversees program evaluation efforts, as well as its marketing and communications strategy. She also supports institutional fundraising and grant writing, as well as new program initiatives and strategy for the global office. Sara also coordinates across all country offices to support the build out of sustaining enterprises. She joined the READ team in 2011 after two years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Mali, West Africa, where she worked with local villages in natural resource management and health. Sara has also interned with human rights advocacy organizations Global Exchange and Mercy Corps, and with a permaculture community in Oregon called Aprovecho. She has lived in the U.S., Mali, France, and Senegal, and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and French from Lewis & Clark College.
Shannon Kimball, Donor Relations and Development Associate
Shannon joined READ in April 2013 as Development Associate. Prior to joining READ, she interned in the correspondence department of the Obama for America reelection headquarters in Chicago. She also interned at World Sport Chicago, a non-profit associated with the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, where she helped establish a city-wide track and field program for inner-city youth. She spent a semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a B.A. in International Development and Psychology from McGill University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the campus newspaper, the McGill Tribune.
Gretchen Roecker, Office Manager
Gretchen joined READ in October 2014 to support general office operations. Her background includes managing community service projects for high school students in New York City, volunteering on farms in Ireland, and serving as the grants manager for a national education nonprofit. When not at READ, Gretchen spends her time polishing prose as a freelance writer/editor, learning to make lattes, and running, biking, and hiking around the Bay Area. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University and a M.S.J. from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Deborah Jacobs, READ Global Board Chair; 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.
Sabina Ahmed, Ops Manager, Americas Sales Operational Efficiency, 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.
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.
Raphael Bemporad, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, BBMG
Raphael is Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at BBMG, an innovative marketing agency aligned with forward thinking brands and conscious consumers. He has directed recent initiatives for clients such as Luna Bar, ShoreBank, UNICEF, Ocean Conservancy, Social Venture Network, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for a New American Dream. Prior to co-founding BBMG, Raphael served as communications director at Do Something, where he oversaw marketing, media relations and cause-related partnerships with Levi Strauss & Co., SEARS, Kenneth Cole and Rolling Stone magazine.
Janice Bertozzi, Attorney
Since retiring from the federal government where she was a government contracts litigator, Janice (Jan) Bertozzi has traveled extensively internationally and domestically and come to appreciate the value of well-conceived and operated organizations that provide developmental assistance to communities all over the world. Jan believes that READ Global is a shining example of such an organization. Jan has been a major contributor to and Board member of American Assistance to Cambodia and Saint Anselm's Abbey School in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of MIT and Boston College Law School.
Elizabeth Borrelli, Senior Vice President, Reputation Management & Crisis, FleishmanHillard
Elizabeth (Betsy) Borrelli is the Senior Vice President, Reputation Management & Crisis, for the global communications agency FleishmanHillard. As a corporate social responsibility executive, Betsy has more than 20 years of global cross-industry experience in issue, reputation, and crisis management. Prior to FleighmanHillard, she worked at Pfizer, where she was Senior Director, Global Issues and Reputation Lead, Communications. She previously served as Executive Director of the Toy Industry Association’s Toy Safety Certification Program and as the association’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. As Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility at apparel retailer Eddie Bauer, Betsy developed and directed the company’s global program to improve conditions for factory workers and served on the Board of the Fair Labor Association. She has frequently traveled to Asia to work with companies and organizations on corporate social responsibility issues.
Ed Lhee, 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.
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.
Lawrence Neubauer, Partner, Quilvest Private Equity
Lawrence Neubauer is a private equity investor living in New York. He has served on a number of boards and committees and is currently a member of the advisory counsel for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the visiting committee for the University of Chicago Law School. His background includes work with public policy formation as well as nonprofit entrepreneurship activities.
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.
Sean Wallace, Global Head of Client Coverage, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore
Sean Wallace serves as Global Head of Client Coverage for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. In this role he is responsible for deepening client relationships across the Bank’s key markets. Previously, he served as Global Head of Corporate Finance. Prior to joining Standard Chartered Bank, Sean was Managing Director at JP Morgan where he spent almost 10 years. At JP Morgan, he was the Head of Capital Markets, Asia Pacific and prior to that was the Co-Head of Investment Banking, Asia Pacific ex-Japan based in Hong Kong. Before transferring to Asia, Sean was head of JP Morgan's North American Telecom Group. He was also Associate Director, Investment Banking at Bear Stearns. Sean also serves on the Board of the Singapore-Ireland Fund and has raised significant resources for a Harvard Wrestling facility. Sean graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in History and Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.