Board Members

Worldreader thanks our board members around the world who contribute their time, energy, enthusiasm and financial support to help ensure the organization’s success.

Chris Capossela | Board Chair

Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Consumer Business, Microsoft
As chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela leads Microsoft’s global product marketing, advertising, brand, research and communications functions for businesses and consumers. In his more than 20 years at Microsoft, Chris has held a variety of marketing leadership roles. Previously, he served in the Microsoft Office Division and was responsible for marketing the company’s productivity solutions including Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Project, and Visio. Most recently, Chris served as the worldwide leader of the Consumer Channels Group, responsible for sales and marketing activities with OEM, operator and retail partners.

Kartik Raghavan | Interim Board Secretary

Managing Director, Two Sigma
Kartik Raghavan is currently a managing director at Two Sigma. Previously, he was senior advisor to the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also worked in venture capital at Shasta Ventures and Trilogy Equity Partners and in operational roles at Microsoft. He was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Project where he worked on a wide variety of technology and policy issues.

Charles Brighton | Board Member

Co-Founder & Co-Chief Executive Officer, Brighton Jones, LLC
Charles Brighton co-founded Brighton Jones, LLC in 1999 and serves as its co-chief executive officer. Charles has more than 20 years of experience working with individuals on a broad range of wealth management issues, including portfolio design, implementation of investment best practices, philanthropy, family dynamics, estate, tax, and insurance planning.

Elizabeth Dollar | Board Member

Partner and Not-for-Profit National Practice Leader, Moss Adams LLP
Liz has practiced public accounting since 2000. Her focus is financial statement and compliance audits for not-for-profit organizations including foundations (both public and private), trade associations, multiservice not-for-profit entities, international NGO’s, and universities. Liz leads the Not-for-Profit practice firm wide for Moss Adams. Liz also serves on the board of a family shelter in San Francisco and volunteers at her children’s school in various capacities.

Kate James | Board Member

Former Chief Corporate Affairs and Global Marketing Officer, Pearson
Kate James joined Pearson as chief corporate affairs and global marketing officer in 2014. As a member of the Pearson executive team, she lead communications, marketing, and the Pearson brand, government and regulatory relations, investor relations, and the company’s social impact work. Prior to joining Pearson, Kate was chief communications officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leveraging the foundation’s voice in support of the organization’s global and domestic initiatives. In addition to Worldreader, Kate serves on the boards of Vital Voices Global Partnership and the National Audubon Society.

Elizabeth Khuri Chandler Board Member

Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Goodreads
Elizabeth Khuri Chandler never intended to work in tech, but in 2007, while she was an editor at the LA Times Sunday Magazine, she and her husband Otis launched Goodreads. Goodreads was borne out of Otis’ desire to build a social network around reading and Elizabeth’s love of language, literature, and connecting with others through ideas. Elizabeth focused in on the language of the site, branding, PR, newsletters, and editorial offerings. She continues to advise GoodReads.

Dana Reid  | Board Member

Trusts and Estates and Tax-Exempt Organizations Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Dana Reid is a Trusts and Estates and Tax-Exempt Organizations partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, working with clients in the Seattle, Bellevue, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Her practice includes working with family business owners on succession planning; high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients on estate and philanthropic planning and trust and estate administration; and small to large tax-exempt organizations on formational, governance and other operational, and merger and termination issues.

David Risher | Board President

Co-Founder & President, Worldreader
David Risher is the co-founder and president of Worldreader. He served as an executive at Microsoft Corporation and then as Amazon.com’s first senior vice president for US Retail where he helped grow the company from a small bookstore into the world’s largest internet retailer. Following his departure from Amazon, he taught at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. He founded Worldreader in 2010 after spending a year traveling the world with his family. He is a Wilson College Honorary Doctorate recipient and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur awardee.

More on David: http://www.worldreader.org/david-risher/

Alison Rich | Board Member

Senior Vice President, Publishing Development and Author Platforms, Penguin Random House
Alison Rich has spent over twenty-five years in the publishing industry, working closely with countless bestselling and acclaimed authors to build awareness of and drive sales for their books. She is currently SVP, Publishing Development and Author Platforms at Penguin Random House, where she works cross-company to identify new formats that drive reach, relevance and revenue for their roster of extraordinary creators and storytellers.

Peter Spiro | Board Member

Technical Fellow, Microsoft
Peter Spiro, a recipient of the Microsoft Career Achievement Award, was instrumental in establishing Microsoft’s competitive position in the commercial database industry and continues to define the company’s future storage platform. He’s also co-founder of the nonprofit group Social Endeavors with former Microsoft executives Paul Flessner and Rob Short.

Roy Swan | Board Member

Director of Mission Investments, Ford Foundation
Roy Swan leads The Ford Foundation’s Mission Investments team, managing the foundation’s portfolio of mission-related investments, program-related investments, and grants dedicated to expanding the impact investing field; increasing adherence to sustainable Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards; and strengthening the role of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) principals in business and society.

Matilda Amissah-Arthur | Board Chair

Philanthropist & Former Second Lady of Ghana
Matilda Amissah-Arthur’s passion is helping children acquire reading skills. She has been working with school children since 1999. She heads an NGO called Reading for life, which runs reading clinics and sets up libraries throughout the country. Previously, Mrs. Amissah Arthur served as the book expert in the DFID project, which procured and put four million books in all public basic schools in Ghana. She set up and managed the USAID computerized library. Since 2006 she has been consulting for a number of top publishers.

Nathan Amanquah | Board Member

Acting Dean, Ashesi University College
Nathan Amanquah is a senior lecturer in the Computer Science Department of the Ashesi University College. He currently teaches a number of senior-level courses including Computer Networks, Mobile Web Programming, and the advanced programming class. He has previously worked as a systems administrator, communications engineer, and automation engineer.

Ben Andoh | Board Member

Group Head Internal Control, Ecobank
Ben Andoh is an international regulatory, risk, and control professional. He is a British and Ghanaian national, currently residing in Lomé, Togo, where he serves as a group head of internal control for Ecobank Transnational Inc, the Pan African banking group. Prior to Ecobank, Ben spent the majority of his career at Citi in London and South Africa working across Europe and Africa. Ben also serves as a global advisory council member of IREX, a global nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington. Ben holds an LLB law degree and a masters in financial & commercial regulation from the London School of Economics, UK.

Elizabeth Ashun | Board Secretary

Lawyer, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah
Elizabeth Ashun is a dual-qualified lawyer in the United Kingdom and Ghana with over 12 years of legal experience in commercial real estate, construction, and infrastructure projects. She currently practices as a senior lawyer within the Construction, Infrastructure and Transportation Group of Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, the leading law firm in Accra, Ghana. Recently, she has been involved with setting up The Right to Read, Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah’s maiden CSR project, which is an NGO focusing on developing the reading skills of children in Adabraka.

Okyeame Kwame | Board Member

Musician & Philanthropist
Encouraged by his literacy professor at Kumasi Anglican Secondary School, Okyeame started writing music and performing on stage whilst in secondary school. He runs his own record label, One Mic Entertainment, and also Firm Bridges Communications, co-founded with his wife. In November 2016, he was presented with the keys to Cincinnati, Ohio. He has also received a US Presidential Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama in recognition of his humanitarian efforts in Ghana – the Okyeame Kwame Hepatitis B campaign. In March 2017 he received the People’s Choice award with recognition for his humanitarian work from the Asantehene King.

Colin McElwee | Board Member

Co-Founder & Senior Director, Worldreader
Colin McElwee is the co-founder and senior director of Worldreader. Previously, Colin was the first director of marketing at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, where he helped establish the school’s reputation as a world-class business education provider. Prior to that, he served as an economist for several Brussels-based lobbies to the European Commission and later worked in global marketing in the consumer goods sector for Scottish & Newcastle PLC.

More on Colin: http://www.worldreader.org/about-us/team/

Ethel Sakitey | Board Treasurer

West African Regional Director, Worldreader
Ethel Sakitey oversees the Worldreader portfolio of programs in Ghana and neighboring West African countries. She leads strategic planning and program expansion for the region. She has over 13 years of program management experience in increasingly responsible roles within the development, public health, and education sectors. Most recently she supported the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment under the Ministry of Education together in reviewing the pre-tertiary curriculum.

Bhanu Potta | Board Director

Founding Partner, Zinger Labs
Bhanu Potta is passionate about building and growing purposeful products, businesses, and organizations that enhance human potential. He is an accomplished global expert on product leadership, learn-tech and social investments. Bhanu held senior management positions at various multi-nationals where he led global product programs, ecosystem development and large-scale digital initiatives in the learning and the wellbeing and livelihood sectors, cumulatively benefitting over 250+ million people in Asia and Africa. Presently, as the founding partner at Zinger Labs, Bhanu advises boards, CXO teams, investors and startup founders on building successful products businesses and impact-focused organizations. Bhanu is a certified board director and sits on various boards and investment committees. He is a sought after counsel, mentor, and professor of practice on product leadership and strategy.

Smita Sircar | Board Director

Innovation Director, Gray Matters Capital
Smita Sricar leads Gray Matters Capital’s education-focused innovation and ecosystem building work out of India. She currently helms edLABS, which provides very early stage funding to “visionary edu-preneurs” for the development of disruptive solutions to education problems. She also builds collaboration with wider ecosystem players towards finding affordable and relevant solutions to quality education. Prior to Gray Matters Capital, Smita lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US. She headed Research and Performance Management for Community Banking with Standard Bank (South Africa). She was on the start-up team of transformational consultancy Volans(UK) and held multiple roles with India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank.

Sejal Shah Board Chair

Healthcare Executive

Sejal Shah has spent over 20 years in the healthcare and life sciences industry including Astra Zeneca, Aga Khan University Hospital, Acacia Medical Centre, Nairobi Women’s Hospital, GVRC and the Goodlife chain of retail pharmacies. She served as a board member for Mimosa (now Goodlife Pharmacies) for a number of years. She was recognized for enhancing non-communicable disease awareness/diabetes by rolling out the Merck – Dora Program at the Goodlife chain of pharmacies. While actively working in the healthcare industry she involved herself with many charitable efforts such as Gender Violence Recovery Centre and Asian Foundation Initiative – Stawisha Maisha. She currently serves as a healthcare executive.

Zahra Kassam | Board Treasurer

Founder, KUWA
Zahra Kassam is a graduate of the Development Planning Unit at University College London (UCL) and is the founder of KUWA, a Nairobi-based consulting organization that is working to change the way cities are planned and designed. Using a new innovative approach to participatory processes, KUWA works towards being a catalyst to changing perceptions of collaborative processes and the need to see space beyond the physical, and rather as social architecture. KUWA uses design and systems thinking, as well as social engineering of multi-stakeholder dialogues to promote creative and hard impact solutions to problems.

Colin McElwee | Board Member

Co-Founder & Senior Director, Worldreader 
Colin McElwee is the Co-Founder and Senior Director of Worldreader. Colin was the first director of marketing at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, where he helped establish the school’s reputation as a world-class business education provider. Prior to that, he served as an economist for several Brussels-based lobbies to the European Commission and later worked in global marketing in the consumer goods sector for Scottish & Newcastle PLC.

More on Colin: http://www.worldreader.org/about-us/team/

David Risher | Board Member

Co-Founder & President, Worldreader
David Risher is the Co-Founder and President of Worldreader. He served as an executive at Microsoft Corporation, then as Amazon.com’s first SVP for US Retail where he helped grow the company from a small bookstore into the world’s largest internet retailer. Following his departure from Amazon, he taught at Washington University’s Foster School of Business and founded Worldreader in 2010, after spending a year traveling the world with his family. He is a Wilson College Honorary Doctorate recipient and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur awardee.

More on David: http://www.worldreader.org/david-risher/

Joan Shinambedi Mwachi | Board Secretary

East Africa Director, Worldreader

Joan Shinambedi Mwachi manages the Worldreader portfolio in Kenya and greater East Africa. She is responsible for the strategic objectives and policies in the country office. Joan is an experienced educator, having started her career in the classroom setting and progressing on to designing and implementing training programs and capacity-building initiatives around non-formal school systems in impoverished communities. Prior to joining Worldreader, Joan was the Regional Support Manager, Operations, at Bridge International Academies, a Nairobi-based organization that builds a network of ultra-low-cost private primary schools.

Jonathan Wareham | Board President

Professor, Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences at ESADE

Jonathan Wareham is Professor/Catedrático of Information Systems of ESADE Business & Law Schools, Ramon Llull University. He previously served as Dean (Faculty & Research) and Vice Dean (Research). Dr Wareham’s research has been published, or is forthcoming, in over 80 refereed journals and proceedings such as Organization Science, Decision Sciences, MIS Quarterly, Decision Support Systems, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, IEEE Computer, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, International Journal of Medical Informatics and numerous others.

He serves as Senior Editor of MIS Quarterly, and has held/holds editorial positions with Information Systems Research, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Information & Organization and Journal of Strategic Information Systems. He was the General Conference Chair of the 20th European Conference on Information Systems – ECIS 2012 and Local Organizing Chair of DRUID2 2013.

He has served as Director of the ESADE Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Management. In addition, he sits on the advisory boards for a number of academic institutions, NGOs and social entrepreneurs.

Clara Barreneche | Board Member

Head of Innovation and Business Development, BIST 

Clara Barreneche is the Head of Innovation and Business Development at the Institute of Science and Technology of Barcelona (BIST), a foundation that brings together seven multidisciplinary research centers of excellence in Barcelona. In the period 2002-2018 she was the director of the office of ACCIO – Trade and Investment Agency of Catalonia – in New York, promoting and managing investments of American companies in Catalonia, boosting the access of Catalan companies in the American market, and encouraging the technological collaborations between the American and Catalan markets. She has worked in a wide range of sectors, from technological, to industrial, services or consumer products.

Adriana Brassart | Board Member

Head of Office and External Relations Manager, Institute for Integrated Transitions

Adriana Brassart is the Head of Office and External Relations Manager at the Institute for Integrated Transitions. Her professional background is in the foreign and development policies of the European Union. For more than five years she worked for the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels as an International Policy Officer, dealing mainly with the Middle East region during the Arab Spring period. Prior to that, she managed development cooperation projects at EuropeAid, focusing on regional cooperation in Asia and Central Asia. Part of her portfolio were connectivity projects aimed at increasing internet access for education and research purposes. In the past, she also worked in management consulting with the international consulting firm Deloitte Advisory. Adriana also teaches classes about the European Union and its political processes at the Institut Barcelona Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).

Kami Dar | Board Member

Executive Vice President and Founder, Devex

Kami is an impact-focused expert on systems, automation, data analytics, and talent management in the global development sector. As co-founder and innovator-in-chief at the media platform for the global development sector, Devex, he spent nearly two decades leading a global team of analysts, researchers, engineers, and designers to deliver the world-class technologies that made Devex the definitive hub for more than a million global development professionals. He has worked closely with external development partners, including Oxfam and the World Bank, and tackled complex integrations and strategic alignment with a diverse group of technology partners and platforms that range from ERP and analytics to automation and algorithmically-driven solutions for talent management and the mapping of development activities. Earlier in his career, Kami worked on systems consulting and product deployment with the US Government at a large technology consulting firm and subsequently worked on the design and development of an M&E platform for a USAID project based in Jordan. Today Kami advises organizations engaged in large-scale system change in pursuit of the the Global Goals. He continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Devex.

Antonio Delgado Planas | Board Secretary

Assistant Professor, Department of Law & Director of Legal Affairs at ESADE

Antonio Delgado began his career as a telecommunications lawyer during the liberalization of the sector. He assumed various responsibilities in the AUNA group and later at ONO, where he took charge of consultancy for the Territorial Delegation in Catalonia and Aragon. In 2007, he joined the Electronic Banking and New Technologies Area at ‘la Caixa’ as a specialist in the field, and in 2009 went on to take charge of Legal Services at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona. Here he became especially involved in legal consultancy related with innovation development and, in particular, with the transfer of research findings. After attaining his Law degree, Antonio began his relationship with ESADE in 2000, lecturing in Business Law. Since then he has lectured on undergraduate degree programs in Law and Management and on MBA and other specialized courses on the creative and cultural industries; an activity that he has always combined with his legal practice.

Hermione Ireland | Board Chair

Co-Founder, Byte Consultancy
Hermione Ireland has worked in publishing for most of her career, with over 13 of those years at Dorling Kindersley as marketing director, working on both books and digital products. She is currently working at Hachette UK as the marketing director of Little, Brown. She also works as a consultant with publishing tech start-ups and author clients. She has been volunteering with Worldreader for six years, working on the acquisition of new UK titles and business development opportunities.

Lucia Halpern | Trustee

Consultant & Executive Coach
After 20 years as a journalist and investment banker, Lucia Halpern is now devoted primarily to not-for-profit work. In addition to her role as a board member for Worldreader, Lucia serves as chairman of the Friends of the Courtauld Institute of Art and as a member of the Courtauld’s Investment Committee. Through the charity Kilfinan Group, she mentors chief executives of other charities. She also teaches literacy at a local primary school, a role which allows her to continue to indulge her love for children’s literature. Her professional work includes executive coaching and speechwriting. Lucia has a BA from the University of North Carolina, where she was a Morehead scholar, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Peter Mallinson | Board Member

Vice-Chairman, Brown Advisory Ltd
Peter is vice chairman of Brown Advisory Ltd and a member of Brown Advisory International Advisory Board. He joined CDK|Brown Advisory, a predecessor firm focused on hedge fund advisory solutions, as a senior advisor in 2005, and continues in that role today with the Brown Advisory Investment Solutions Group. Prior to this, he spent more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs International, where he was partner and managing director from 1994-2002. He is a director of Nextam Partners SGR, an Italian asset management company. Peter attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead scholar and received his BSc (Econ.) and MBA there. Peter is currently the chairman of the Governors at Wellington College, and also chairman of the Queen’s Club. He was a founding trustee of New Philanthropy Capital.

Colin McElwee | Trustee

Co-Founder & Senior Director, Worldreader
Colin McElwee is the co-founder and senior director of Worldreader. Previously, Colin was the first director of marketing at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, where he helped establish the school’s reputation as a world-class business education provider. Prior to that, he served as an economist for several Brussels-based lobbies to the European Commission and later worked in global marketing in the consumer goods sector for Scottish & Newcastle PLC.

More on Colin: http://www.worldreader.org/about-us/team/

Martin Nye | Board Trustee

Chairman, World of Books
Martin Nye has had a broad-ranging business career over more than 30 years with a variety of senior management positions in a number of private and public companies. He currently has a portfolio of non-executive chairman, director, and advisory roles for several businesses, including World of Books, the largest used book retailer in Europe, and Syncreon, a leading international logistics operator. Martin is chairman of the Wiltshire Museum and a trustee of the Soil Association, the food and farming charity. He read history at the University of Cambridge.

Ranila Ravi-Burslem | Trustee

Director of SME Solutions, Aviva
Ranila has wide experience across diverse sectors in the UK straddling financial services, professional services and the charitable sector. She brings deep expertise of the corporate market from all her roles and a strong understanding of the philanthropy market in the UK from her time at CAF. Having served as a Board member for two international NGOs, Ranila also has over a decade’s experience of governance and leadership in medium sized UK charities.

David Risher | Trustee

Co-Founder & President, Worldreader
David Risher is the co-founder and president of Worldreader. He served as an executive at Microsoft Corporation and then as Amazon.com’s first senior vice president for US Retail where he helped grow the company from a small bookstore into the world’s largest internet retailer. Following his departure from Amazon, he taught at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. He founded Worldreader in 2010 after spending a year traveling the world with his family. He is a Wilson College Honorary Doctorate recipient and a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur awardee.

More on David: http://www.worldreader.org/david-risher/