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Room to Read Global Board Update

December 20, 2021

Press Releases

The spark that created our global movement began when John Wood first traveled to Nepal in 1998 on a trekking adventure, and his enthusiasm and passion for our mission has never wavered over more than two decades of globe-trotting service.  During recent years, John has stretched his wings to help friends he trusts and admires to build some of the world’s next great companies, including Asia Partners, Green Monday and Concentric Equity’s expansion into Asia.  As his responsibilities have evolved, John has made the difficult decision to transition off Room to Read’s global board of directors.  He describes this as a strong signal of his full faith in the current leadership team and the Board to continue to scale and deliver on our mission to create a world free of illiteracy and gender inequality. We wish John the absolute best in the work he is pursuing with the private sector and with the 2022 launch of a new social venture.  

Room to Read’s strength lies in our shared commitment to always act in the best interest of our mission and the children we serve, which means a keen eye towards organizational best practice. John’s transition off the board has been made thoughtfully in partnership with Geetha Murali as CEO and our Global Board of Directors and represents the culmination of a well-executed succession plan over the past several years. We are incredibly grateful for John’s tireless passion, commitment, and contributions to our mission since Room to Read’s inception and collectively acknowledge the maturity it takes for an individual and an organization to know the timing is right for a founder transition like this.  John will always remain an active member of the Room to Read family as Room to Read’s Founder, and we know he will continue to make a meaningful impact, as his purpose driven influence lives on in Room to Read’s global movement.

Hear from our leaders:

John Wood, Room to Read Founder“Since the earliest days of Room to Read, my mantra has been “Recruit. Delegate. Repeat”.  I’ve now reached every founder’s dream-state: to look across the entire organization and see hundreds of skilled leaders making change happen every day and knowing that the organization will continue to thrive even after I depart.   I will forever be an advocate of our life-changing work, while simultaneously launching a new social venture early in 2022.  I’ll be eager to share details then.  In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has been my partner in this incredible journey.” 


Geetha Murali, Room to Read CEO“We’re grateful to John for his initial vision and 20 years of tireless service to global education. He has traversed the globe for Room to Read wearing many hats, but with the consistent goal of delivering what is needed to educate more children. His contributions to Room to Read’s trajectory are innumerable, and he will always be part of the Room to Read family.”


Mary Byron, Room to Read Global Board Chair: “Room to Read will continue to innovate and scale our programs, thanks to a global constellation of advocates who champion our mission — including numerous investors and volunteers who first heard about Room to Read through John Wood. Evolution in an organization of Room to Read’s stature is natural and necessary for growth and progress, and I look forward to us continuing to deliver on our mission of creating a world free of illiteracy and gender inequality.”


John Ridding, Room to Read Board Member“Room to Read has always embraced best practices for successful organizational change. John Wood and the board were gratified to observe a seamless leadership transition in 2017 when Geetha Murali became Room to Read’s first non-founder CEO. We are equally proud to have another smooth transition as John takes his next well-planned steps, ensuring sustained momentum.”