Executive Director

  • Cliff Schmidt

    Cliff Schmidt

    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.

Program Team

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                              Georgina Bukenya-Fields

                              Georgina joined Literacy Bridge in 2015 as Program Director. Georgina has experience in international development law, global health, livelihoods & economic development, organizational development, and program and grants management. Georgina grew up in Papua New Guinea and Malawi and has worked in several countries in Africa.

                              In her previous roles, Georgina worked with Mrs. Graça Machel – international advocate for women’s and children’s rights – on pediatric HIV/AIDS issues; advocated for legislation, funding and programs aimed at tackling gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, providing economic opportunities for women and girls in East and Southern Africa. Together with her mother, Georgina co-founded a Ugandan community-based organization dedicated to promoting early childhood development and community development in marginalized communities.

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                            Allison Sambo

                            Allison Sambo joined Literacy Bridge in 2015 as a Program Manager for new partnerships with MEDA and CARE. Allison holds a Masters in International Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is also a current PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Civil Society and Community Research. Allison has worked primarily in community-based participatory action research, monitoring and evaluation of public health and socioeconomic development programs, and program management in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. She will be taking on a research, monitoring and evaluation role in the upcoming months to assess the impact of programs and quality improvement measures.

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                          Fidelis Da-uri

                          Fidelis is our content manager in Ghana and  is responsible for creating content outlines, developing partnerships with local experts, overseeing the content translation process, and more. He also serves as the primary liaison with The Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ghana Health Service staff at the district and zone levels.

                          Prior to joining Literacy Bridge, Fidelis worked with numerous NGOs at the community level on agriculture and health programs. He received a Higher National Diploma from Wa Polytechnic, Business School.

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                          Fred Kaarindeme Braimah

                          Fred began his time at Literacy Bridge as a Field Coordinator in the Jirapa District of Ghanai. As Field Coordinator, Fred managed the Talking Book Program in individual communities, ensuring it ran efficiently and effectively, managed Community Agents, and researched marketing and communication needs from each community served.

                          Fred’s hard work, great attitude, and experience of activities on the community level allowed him to quickly be promoted to Field Manager. As Field Manager for Literacy Bridge, Fred is responsible for managing Field Coordinators, identifying operations and logistics issues, facilitating monitoring and evaluation activities, and more.

                          Prior to working with Literacy Bridge, Fred studied Integrated Development Studies and specialized in Social and Development Administration. He graduated in 2013 with a Second Class Honor Degree in Social and Development Administration.

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                          Linus Apagrimasa Alang

                          Linus joined Literacy Bridge in 2015 as a Program Officer in Ghana. Linus is a native from Sandema in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He completed both his Junior and Senior High schools in Tumu and Lawra respectively in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Linus has a Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematical Science from the University for Development Studies (UDS).

                          Linus has enormous experience in working with the local government system and community opinion leaders. Prior to joining Literacy Bridge Ghana he worked as Project/Schedule Officer for the Northern Rural Growth Program (NRGP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture in the implementation of the value chain concept in crops such as maize, rice, sorghum and soybean.

Marketing & Communications

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                            Emma Hogan

                            Emma earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington, and previously worked for a marketing firm in New York City, launching both domestic and international marketing campaigns. Emma has marketed for Fortune 500 and start-up companies alike in industries such as finance, sports, entertainment, video gaming, and more.

                            As Marketing & Communications Manager, Emma joined the Literacy Bridge team in 2015. She handles all donor and partner communications.


                            • Forrest Carman

                              Forrest Carman is a media and analyst relations professional at Owen Media, a technology-focused public relations agency in Seattle, WA. He has been responsible for day-to-day client interactions on several accounts, including The Green Grid, the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) and Asset Management International. In the past, Forrest has worked with a variety of high-tech consortia and alliances, with members ranging from AMD to Microsoft to VMware.

                              Forrest graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a teaching certificate (grades K-8). Forrest is the primary press contact for Literacy Bridge.


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                            Andrew Azaabanye Bayor

                            Andy has been working with Cliff Schmidt on the Talking Book project since 2007 when they first met during Cliff’s maiden visit to Ghana. At the time, Andy had just finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with Mathematics from the University For Development Studies.

                            Andy has a Master of Science Degree in Internet and Wireless Computing from the University of York, a Post-graduate Diploma in Network Engineering from National Institute for Information Technology (NIIT), and a Diploma in Human Resources Management from the Institute of Commercial Management, Bournemouth, UK.

                            Andy now works as the ICT Manager for Literacy Bridge.


                    • Michael Busch

                      Michael Busch is a software engineer at Twitter, where he builds the next generation of real-time search. Before Twitter, Michael worked as software engineer and architect at IBM on Enterprise Search and eDiscovery applications. He is also an active Open Source developer and participates in the Apache Lucene project as a committer and PMC member. He regularly presents at ApacheCon conferences, where he met Cliff for the first time in 2008 and became a fan of Literacy Bridge.

                      Now Michael helps develop and mentor various Literacy Bridge software projects, such as the Audio Content Manager. He currently lives in Mountain View, California and works at Twitter in San Francisco (and on the Caltrain).