Model & Strategy

Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

To achieve this goal, Room to Read focuses on two areas where they believe they can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education.  They work in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.

At a Glance
Founded: 2000
Current CEO: Geetha Murali
Location of work: International, Africa, Asia
Room to Read
San Francisco, CA
World change starts with educated children
Meet John Wood & Erin Ganju

John Wood co-founded Room to Read after a distinguished career with Microsoft from 1991 to 1999. John continues to bring Room to Read a vision for a scalable solution to developing global educational problems with an intense focus on results and an ability to attract a world-class group of employees, volunteers, and funders. Today, John focuses full-time on long-term strategy, capital acquisition, public speaking, and media opportunities for the organization. John also teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and New York University’s Stern School of Business and serves on the Advisory Board of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Erin Ganju is co-founder, former CEO, and former COO of Room to Read. From the early start-up days of Room to Read, Erin was instrumental in the design and implementation of the organization’s scalable, replicable model for improving the quality of education around the world. 

Dr. Geetha Murali is CEO of Room to Read. Geetha oversees Room to Read’s global operations, which include programmatic work in 16 countries, a global network of investors and volunteer chapters, and a worldwide staff of more than 1,600 employees. She is a member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council, YPO’s SF Bay Chapter, and has been recognized by WIRED as someone who will shape the next 25 years.


Room to Read has benefited more than 18M children across over 37,000 communities in 16 countries globally.

The Literacy Program has made a difference in over 37,000 communities. Data shows that on average, children benefiting from the Literacy Program read two to three times as fast as their peers and give an average of 87 percent more correct answers on reading comprehension questions. The Girls’ Education Program has supported nearly 100,000 girls.

Recent results from an alumnae survey show that 79 percent of graduates enrolled in further education or found work within the first year of graduation. Additionally, the Life Skills Evaluation, an independent study conducted in India, found that girls in the program had a 25 percent lower dropout rate, showed higher levels of grade progression, and cultivated leadership-oriented life skills after only two years.