Board of Directors

      • Rao Remala


        Rao Remala devotes much of his time to philanthropy through his family foundation, the Satya and Rao Remala Foundation, since his retirement from Microsoft in 2004. He was recruited to Microsoft in 1981 from Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), the developer of India’s first microcomputer, where he started the software division. Rao began his prolific tenure at Microsoft as a software developer and wrote original code for the precursor to Microsoft Windows. He retired 23 year later as Microsoft’s director in R&D.

        He earned an engineering degree from the Regional Engineering College (REC) in Warangal, India, and later a master’s degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. He also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

          • Michele Hasson


            Michele Hasson has more than 25 years of development experience in the non-profit sector. She is currently consulting (when not traveling), with the Northwest African American Museum, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Wing Luke Asian Museum, the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Her extensive experience in fundraising and board development, especially with major donors, has helped organizations grow both internal and external capacities.

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          David Vogel

          David S. Vogel is a world renown data mining and predictive modeling expert. He has won over a dozen data science awards and earned international recognition for the accuracy of his predictive models, including being the 3-time winner of the prestigious KDD Cup and the Heritage Health Prize award, demonstrating the versatility of his predictive techniques. David is the Founder and CEO of an award winning quantitative hedge fund and has been quoted on charitable and financial issues in a variety of news sources including Bloomberg, Barron’s, Think Tech and also continues to present his research at conferences and institutes worldwide.

          As a Trustee of his family foundation, VoLo Foundation, David is responsible for setting the priorities of the organization as well as approving the Foundation’s strategies and allocation of resources. He is passionate about VoLo’s mission and uses data to drive decisions to maximize impact.

          David graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in Scientific Computing from New York University.

        • Cliff Schmidt

          Executive Director

          Cliff Schmidt started Literacy Bridge in 2007 to address global poverty and disease by making practical agriculture and health knowledge accessible to those who need it most. He led the development of an audio-based mobile device called the “Talking Book” for people with minimal literacy skills living in rural areas without electricity or Internet access.

          Cliff received the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow Award by Bill and Melinda Gates and was awarded a Clinton Global Initiative membership by President Bill Clinton. He received the top prize at the Tech Awards in 2012 and Computerworld Honors in 2013, and was selected by the PBS Newshour as one of five Agents for Social Change in 2013.

          Prior to starting Literacy Bridge, Cliff was a software developer for Microsoft and a nuclear engineering officer for the US Navy Submarine Force. He received his B.S. in Cognitive Science from MIT and his M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Washington.

        • Arthur C.L. Tao

          Vice President

          Arthur C.L. Tao is an experienced program manager in the software industry. He co-founded Literacy Bridge with Cliff Schmidt in 2007 to address global poverty by making knowledge accessible to people in the world who are without basic infrastructure and electricity.

          In addition to his work at Literacy Bridge, he provided product development leadership in an early stage startup. Previously, he worked at Microsoft as a senior program manager in the development of MSN web applications. He has extensive experience in the management of large and complex software projects, and in working with global teams and partners in a multinational and multi-corporation environment.

          Arthur received his B.S. from Swarthmore College (Graduation w/ Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), and his M.S. in Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

          Arthur holds a patent in the area of high performance and high volume database application processing.

        • David Hijirida


          David Hijirida, CFA, began his career as a management consultant and has worked over 10 years in the financial services industry across marketing, planning, and corporate strategy roles. He currently works at as general manager of the Global Credit business, managing and developing new credit and payments related business initiatives.

          David holds degrees in physics from both MIT (BS) and Cornell University (MS); he also holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David earned his CFA charter in 2008.

        • Kevin Reed

          Secretary and Legal Counsel

          Judicial Commissioner Kevin Reed is a magistrate judge of the General Sessions Criminal Court in Shelby County, Tennessee. He began his legal career by practicing law for the Shelby County Public Defender. He then went into private practice for ten years developing an intellectual property and entertainment law practice. As a magistrate judge he sets felony bonds and presides over preliminary hearings and petitions for orders of protection in domestic abuse cases.

          In addition, he is a board member of the Oak Spring Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization established to service the needs of the people of Northeast Shelby County. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and his JD from Howard University School of Law.

            • Joyce Kim


              Joyce is the Executive Director of, a nonprofit organization focused on open financial access. Stellar is a common payments platform that increases interoperability between diverse financial systems and currencies. Prior to Stellar, Joyce was a VC at Freestyle Capital as well as an entrepreneur. She worked as an attorney at Wilmer Hale and Sherman & Sterling, and pro bono at Sanctuary for Families and the Innocence Project. Joyce graduated from Cornell University at the age of 19, followed by graduate school at both Harvard and Columbia Law School. She serves as a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.


              • Lisa Cohen

                Lisa Cohen is the Executive Director of the Washington Global Health Alliance (WGHA), a coalition of the state’s leading global health research and development organizations. Prior to the formation of WGHA, Ms. Cohen spent 25 years as a producer and manager in broadcast news. She taught journalism at the University of Washington, where she earned degrees in Broadcast Journalism and International Communications. She serves as Executive Director and Board Chair for the Washington Global Health Fund and on the governance boards of Global to Local, Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association as well as numerous civic advisory committees.

                • Joe Appiah-Kusi, M.D., MPH

                  Dr. Joe Appiah-Kusi is a physician, educator, researcher, policy analyst, strategic planner and humanitarian. He has been a professor at a couple of universities including University of Washington and University of Phoenix teaching courses in the humanities, ethics/law, public affairs, history, multiculturalism, doing business in different cultures and comparative health care system. He was a General Practitioner for the U.S. Army Medical Command in Europe, Adviser to WA state DSHS, Medical Practice Investigator for WA state Medical Disciplinary Board & the Board of Medical Examiners. Has received a number of distinguished awards including UN/WHO Fellowship, AMA, AHA and SAMA Fellowship. He is a renaissance scholar and global citizen diplomat serving as an Adviser to Seattle Art Museum on the interpretation of African and the Oceanic Art collection.

                • Shayne Gary

                  Dr. Shayne Gary is a Visiting Professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Senior Lecturer of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) in Sydney. He is also Associate Director of the Accelerated Learning Laboratory, and in 2007 was a visiting faculty member at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Shayne’s research focuses on improving strategic decisions under complexity and uncertainty. He teaches Strategic Management, Systems Thinking, and System Dynamics across MBA, Executive MBA, and executive programs. Shayne received his Ph.D. at London Business School and his BSc degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).