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John Wood is the founder and board co–chair of Room to Read, an organization that believes World Change Starts with Educated Children® and seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. At age 35, Mr. Wood left an executive career track at Microsoft Corporation to form Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that "combines the heart of Mother Theresa with the scalability of Starbucks" to help children across the developing world break the cycle of poverty through the power of education.
Since its start in 2000, Room to Read has sponsored the opening of 1,556 schools and more than 13,000 multilingual libraries across the developing world. The organization has distributed over 11 million children’s books in multiple languages and supports 16,879 girls with long-term scholarships. John describes these results as “total tip of the iceberg” as Room to Read plans to increase this literacy network to 20,000 libraries and schools serving at least 10 million children by the year 2015.
In his award-winning memoir, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World : An Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children (Harper Collins, 2006), John Wood tells the story of how he raised over $125 million of financial commitments from a "standing start" to develop one of the fastest-growing non-profits in history. The book was described by Publishers` Weekly( in a starred review as "an infectiously inspiring read." Translated into 21 languages, it is popular with entrepreneurs, philanthropists, educators, and internationalists alike, and was selected by Amazon as one of the Top Ten Business Narratives of 2006 and voted by Hudson Booksellers as a Top Ten Nonfiction title of 2006. The book was also featured during his appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show( and the resulting "Oprah`s Book Drive" with Room to Read raised over $3 million from viewers.
Mr. Wood holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, a B.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the University of San Francisco. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Clinton Global Initiative. He is currently working with Viking Penguin on his second book to be published in late 2012.For more information on this speaker, please contact Keynote Speakers at 650-325-8711.
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