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Meet the Team: Lucina Di-Meco, New Director of Girls' Education Programs

March 29, 2017

Name: Lucina Di-Meco

Title: Director of Global Girls' Education Programs

Location: San Francisco, CA

Lucina joined Room to Read in December of 2016 and in her short time here has already brought such warmth and insight to our team. We're incredibly excited to have her leading such an integral part of our organization. Get to know her a little more here!

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Q: What were you up to before joining Room to Read?
A: I have more than 15 years of experience in the design, management and implementation of international development programs addressing gender inequality worldwide. Before joining Room to Read, I was a Senior Program Manager at Vital Voices, where I oversaw the implementation of a fellowship program serving 330 women leaders all over the world. I’ve also worked in various capacities for United Nations agencies, multiple International Nonprofits and the Wilson Center on programs fostering the skills and ensuring the rights of women and girls in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Q: How did you become passionate about education?
A: My father was born in post-war Italy, in a household with no electricity or running water. He was the first person in his entire village to graduate upper secondary school and would have loved to go to university, but could not afford it. He instilled in me the awareness of education as a treasure and privilege, the key to opening your mind to new opportunities and simply becoming a fuller person.

Q: How did you decide to join Room to Read?
I wanted to be part of Room to Read’s team as I was impressed with the Girls’ Education Program and how serious the organization is about monitoring and evaluating its programs and impact!

Q: As the Girls' Education Program Director, what are you excited to tackle first?
A: Right now, I’m working to refine how we explain our program externally and looking at ways to scale our work so that we can support more girls all over the world to stay in school longer, acquire the skills and agency they need to make informed choices about their lives and unleash their potential.

Q: What woman has been most inspirational in your life?
A: My father's cousin was a great inspiration to me when I was growing up. She was a feminist and had read many books in Italian and English. She came from the same village as my father and was the first woman to graduate from University in her village.

Lucina at a home visit in Laos

Q: What is something interesting that most people don't know about you?
A: I studied ancient Latin and Greek in high school. I loved reading and translating texts from the Iliad and Cicero’s speeches and was able to see and understand the words of men that lived thousands of years ago without any intermediary.

Q: What is something you have done that you are really proud of?
A: Overall, I’d say I’m proud of having always tried to be true to who I am and what I believe. I have followed my dreams, and fought for them, even when that meant leaving behind everything and everyone I knew to take a plane all by myself to go and live on the other side of the world.

Q: What is your favorite book and why?
I love to read and have read many books in the six languages I speak: Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. There is one book, however, that I have read in four of these languages, as I liked it so much that every time I learned a new language, I wanted to read it again. The book is The Satanic Verses from Salman Rushdie. I loved it because to me, it first and foremost, spoke about what it means to be a foreigner and an immigrant, to one self even before entering a country.


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