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John Wood

Founder & Executive, Chairman, Room to Read

Skoll Awardee

Biography

John Wood left his position as Microsoft’s Director of Business Development for the Greater China Region in 1999 to start 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. The organization developed from an idea and a donkey-load of donated books into a network of 7000 libraries, 750 schools, 7,000 longterm girls scholarships and 5 million donated children’s books. Over 2 million children have access to this network of schools and libraries in nine countries in Africa and Asia. John is also the author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.