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.
Padmini Srinivasan, Director of Finance and Administration
Padmini Srinivasan has over 25 year experience managing finance organizations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Padmini started off her career at Bank of America - where she worked for nearly 20 years in a variety of senior finance positions – ending as the Business Unit Controller for the Credit Products Group. Prior to joining READ she worked as the Finance Director for the Western Region of The Trust for Public Land and Audubon California. Padmini holds an undergraduate degree in Zoology and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur India.
Jayson Morris, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Jayson serves as READ's Director of Strategic Partnerships, where he helps to solicit and steward some of READ's largest in-country and global fundraising as well as programmatic partnership. Prior to joining READ, he spent a year consulting for several international and domestic nonprofits on fundraising and strategic initiatives. Jayson spent 7 years scaling Room to Read's fundraising efforts from $5 million to $42 million. During this time, he spent four years building out the organization’s global Corporate and Foundation Team, personally raising over $15 million and managing the organizations top corporate and foundation relationships while managing a team of five. Most recently, he spent two years overseeing Room to Read's entire fundraising operations – some 35 staff in 7 offices around the world raising $40+ million – as Acting Chief Development Officer and Deputy CDO. Jayson began his career as an Investment Banker for Credit Suisse First Boston in New York and Australia, where he worked on a range of deals including IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and debt. He left banking in 2001 and spent three years backpacking around the world. Jayson holds a Bachelor's Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
Pam Joyce, Director of Individual Giving
As Director of Individual Giving, Pam focuses on cultivating and stewarding a strategic portfolio of individual and family foundation donors to raise the funds to scale READ’s work in rural South Asia. She has 20 years’ experience working for a variety of educational and international non-profits, most recently as a Development Director at Room to Read where she spent 6 years helping build a fundraising base that increased six-fold to support literacy and gender equality in the developing world. Prior to joining Room to Read, Pam worked in a range of positions for the Asia Society, an international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the U.S. In addition to serving as founding Executive Director of the Asia Society Northern California, she has worked with the Asia Foundation and Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships developing deep experience in fundraising, strategic planning, programming, membership and board development. Pam received a M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University.
Sara Litke, Marketing and Communications Manager
Sara stepped into the role of Marketing and Communications Manager in 2013 after almost two years of working as a Marketing and Development Associate for READ. She manages the organization's online presence, as well as its marketing, PR and social media strategies. Sara creates print and online collateral for READ and supports outreach, program and monitoring & evaluation initiatives. She joined the READ team 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, 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.
Ms. Janice Bertozzi, Board Chair
Since retiring from the federal government where she was a government contracts litigator, Janice 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.
Ms. Sabina R. Ahmed
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.
Mr. Brian Bannon
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.
Mr. Raphael Bemporad
Mr. Bemporad is founding partner and principal 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, Mr. Bemporad 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.
Ms. Elizabeth Borrelli
As a corporate social responsibility executive, Elizabeth (Betsy) Borrelli has more than 20 years of global cross-industry experience in issue, reputation, and crisis management. She most recently 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, Elizabeth 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.
Ms. Deborah Jacobs
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, Jacobs 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. Jacobs 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, Jacobs 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. Jacobs received a BA in Government from Mills College and an MLS from the University of Oregon.
Ms. Sara Lafrance
Ms. Lafrance is currently the President of Educational Pathways International, a education-focused charitable foundation she and her husband founded in 2005. Prior to this effort, Sara co-founded and served as President of Century Analysis, Inc., a software manufacturer that provided integration solutions to large commercial, industrial, and healthcare enterprises, from 1975 until its sale in 1998. Since moving to Nevada in 1998, Mrs. Lafrance has acted at an advisory level for several early stage businesses as well as served on and chaired many local boards, including the University of Nevada College of Engineering Advisor Board, the University of Nevada Foundation Board, KNPB Channel 5 Public Television, and the Reno Philharmonic. She is a member of Sierra Angels, a Northern Nevada investment group that focuses on promising early stage companies, and is also active at a committee or board level for several philanthropic and charitable organizations. Mrs. Lafrance holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/Journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Masters of Arts in Organizational Change from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY.
Dr. Antonia Neubauer, Founder
Dr. 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,” Neubauer 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.
Mr. Lawrence Neubauer
Mr. 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.
Ms. Karen Sage
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.
Ms. Dorothy Adamson
Ms. Adamson was an instructor at The American School of The Hague in the Netherlands, where she lived for 20 years. There she developed and coordinated the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) Program, designed to involve students in hands-on service activities. Several years ago, Dorothy’s students adopted READ as their project and regularly sponsor events to raise funds for Nepal libraries. Dorothy and her students have made several trips to Nepal, spending time at READ libraries and in the Kathmandu office.
Dr. Dina Bangdel
Dr. Bangdel is Assistant Professor of Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. A specialist in Indian and Himalayan art, she is the co-curator of "Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art," a 2003–2004 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Columbus Museum of Art. Dr. Bangdel is the daughter of writer and scholar Lain Bangdel, Nepal's leading modern artist who was a member of the READ Advisory Board in Nepal until his death in 2002.
Ms. Arlene Blum
Arlene Blum has played a groundbreaking role in women’s mountaineering and has played a leading role in more than 20 mountain expeditions worldwide. Blum holds a doctorate in biophysical chemistry, and has taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and U. C. Berkeley, where her research was instrumental in banning Tris and Fyrol, two cancer-causing chemicals that were used as a flame retardant on children's sleepwear as well as the pesticide DBCP. She plans to continue this research to facilitate the regulation of similar chemicals and help protect our health and environment. Blum currently designs and presents informative and inspiring keynote lectures, leadership workshops, and cross-cultural seminars. She has given highly acclaimed classes in Mongolia, Uganda, Nepal and India, as well as across the U.S.
Mr. Marvin A. Brustin
Mr. Brustin is president and owner of a Chicago law firm, Marvin A. Brustin, Ltd., which specializes in jury litigation (primarily catastrophic injuries, business-related matters). An Honorary Royal Consul General of Nepal, Brustin was also the recipient of an Outstanding Leadership Award from India for promoting closer relationships between India and Nepal. He is an ardent trekker and outdoors enthusiast, and a long-time member of the Adventurers Club in Chicago. For many years, he served as the chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority citizen’s advisory board.
Mr. Jeffrey P. Lindtner
Mr. Lindtner is the former director of government relations for Cigna Corporation and former executive director of the Cigna Foundation. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Economy League, and the Wilma Theater. Jeff kayaked the Trisuli River in Nepal in 1980, and returned seven years later, hiking to Everest Base Camp.
Dr. Uma Mysorekar
Dr. Mysorekar is the Founder and President of The Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, New York. She manages the daily operations and coordinates major Hindu celebrations and events, making her the voluntary equivalent of a CEO running an organization with annual revenues of $3 million and 30 full-time staff members that serves 20,000 devotees in the United States. She is the President of Heart and Hand for the Handicapped, an organization dedicated to raising funds for institutions caring for handicapped children in New York and India. Dr. Mysorekar is a gynecologist with a practice in Queens.
Mr. Utpal Kumar Sengupta
Mr. Sengupta is the CEO of Crossflow Nepal Trust, a charity organization working in Nepal and India. He was Vice President and General Manager of Shangri-la hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal. Mr. Sengupta also launched Kathmandu’s leading destination management company, Shangri-la Holidays, and Himalayan Exchange, a Franco-Nepali social services organization in Nepal.
Mr. Elliot Shelkrot
Mr. Elliot Shelkrot was President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, where he launched a host of innovative programs to increase library services. Before joining the Free Library in 1987, Mr. Shelkrot served as State Librarian for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A leader in civic affairs in Philadelphia, he serves as a board member for the Allegheny West Foundation, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Council and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. In 2003, Mr. Shelkrot was honored with a Special Achievement Award by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.