our team

Amplio Network is based in downtown Seattle, but we work internationally. We are frequently on the road in North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and various others countries, islands, and continents. If you’d like to meet with a member of our team or one of our affiliates, please get in touch.

CLIFF SCHMIDT

Founder and Executive Director

Cliff founded Amplio Network (formerly named 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 Integral Fellow Award presented by Bill and Melinda Gates twice (in 2010 and 2014) and was selected as a member of the Clinton Global Initiative by President Bill Clinton. He received the top prize at the Tech Awards in 2012 and Computerworld Honors in 2013 and was featured by the PBS Newshour as one of five Agents for Social Change in 2013.

Prior to starting Amplio Network, Cliff was a software developer for Microsoft and a nuclear engineering officer for the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. Cliff holds a B.S. in cognitive science from MIT and an M.S. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington. Cliff loves music and playing tenor saxophone.

BILL EVANS

Senior Software Design Engineer
Bill is a veteran of the software industry. He started out supporting room-sized mainframe systems for the healthcare industry in 1978. At Microsoft, Bill was a founding member of the team that created the .NET development environment, and he later worked on the Kindle reader at Amazon. From large mainframe computers, to the smallest embedded processor, Bill has programmed professionally in more than a dozen computer languages and dabbled in more. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University. When not programming, or reading about programming, Bill enjoys hiking, visiting museums, and reading science fiction.

ERIN INCLÁN

Communications Director
Erin Inclán has 20+ years of diverse communications experience and a passion for promoting access to education. Early on, she worked for the Office of Tibet in NYC, where she assisted the Dalai Lama’s North American representative. She has worked as a marketing editor for online startups, Microsoft, Group Health, and Simmons College in Boston. Prior to joining Amplio, Erin consulted on marketing, PR, and fundraising campaigns for mission-driven organizations in New England. She has a B.A. in multi/cultural studies from The Evergreen State College. Locally, she enjoys conversation, cultural exchange, and community placemaking projects. Internationally, she mentors women scholars in Nepal.

RYAN MORRIS

Program Manager
Ryan is an international development professional with experience managing media, education, and workforce development projects. Prior to joining Amplio, Ryan was with IREX where he supported a five-year, $10 million program in Mozambique and provided technical training to international and U.S. educators and youth leaders through several national and international teaching programs. He also served as a teacher trainer at the Alto Molocue Teacher Training Institute in Zambézia, Mozambique, and was a community and youth education development volunteer and English language instructor in Maradi, Niger. Ryan holds a B.A. in French from Wabash College and an M.S.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue University. He speaks Portuguese, French, and Hausa. Ryan enjoys travel, languages, reading, and live music.

LINE NGATCHOU

Assistant Controller
Line has worked with women’s associations in rural areas of Burkina Faso, where she formulated and implemented a strategic model to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of Shea butter trademark and product quality certification. Her research data are referenced in published articles on “Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP)” in Africa. Line received a 2016 InsideNGO Excellence Award in recognition of  her outstanding contributions as an operations professional. Line holds an M.S. in sustainable development with a concentration in agricultural economics from Montpellier-France, a B.A. in tropical agronomy from the University of Florence-Italy, and an MBA in financial management. Line is fluent in French, Italian, and English. Line enjoys movies, Zumba, traveling, and good food.

JENNY SMITH

Executive Assistant
Jenny spent six years in Israel, working in hospitality and studying the art of crafting ceramics. She also lived on a kibbutz for a year, where she learned how to farm, herd goats, and harvest dates. The hands-on experience provided her with a wealth of knowledge in sustainable, intentional, cooperative living, art, and agriculture. In her free time, Jenny volunteers and participates at pottery and yoga studios. She enjoys travel, the outdoors, and live music. She earned her B.S. in human environmental science at the University of Alabama.

Board of Directors

Arthur C.L. Tao

Vice President

Arthur C.L. Tao co-founded Amplio (then Literacy Bridge) with Cliff Schmidt in 2007 to address global poverty by making knowledge accessible to people who are without basic infrastructure and electricity. He previously was a senior program manager at Microsoft, where he worked in the development of MSN web applications. He has extensive experience in the management of large, complex software programs and in working with global teams and partners in a multinational and multi-corporation environment. Arthur received his B.S. from Swarthmore College and his M.S. in Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

KEVIN REED

Secretary and Legal Counsel

Judicial Commissioner Kevin Reed is a magistrate judge of the General Sessions Criminal Court in Shelby County, Tennessee. He began his legal career practicing law for the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office, before launching his own intellectual property and entertainment law practice. As a magistrate judge, he sets felony bonds and presides over preliminary hearings and petitions for orders of protection in domestic abuse cases. He is a board member of the Oak Spring Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of the people of Northeast Shelby County. Kevin received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and his JD from Howard University School of Law.

MICHELE HASSON

Co-President

Michele Hasson has more than 25 years of development experience in the non-profit sector. She currently consults (when not traveling) with the Northwest African American Museum, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Wing Luke Asian Museum, the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Michele’s experience in fundraising and board development, especially with major donors, has helped organizations grow internal and external capacities.

RAO REMALA

Co-President

Rao Remala devotes much of his time to philanthropy through his family foundation, the Satya and Rao Remala Foundation. He was recruited to Microsoft in 1981 from Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), the developer of India’s first microcomputer. Rao began his prolific tenure at Microsoft as a software developer and wrote original code for the precursor to Microsoft Windows. He was R&D director before retiring in 2004. Rao holds an engineering degree from the Regional Engineering College in Warangal, India, and a master’s degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. He also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Allen Wilcox

Allen leads positive change across the private, public, and social sectors. As president of VillageReach from 2008-2016, he created a strategic model for scaling and sustaining system solutions through large public and private sector institutions. During his tenure, Allen grew VillageReach from a six-employee/one-country operation into a 120+ employee organization operating across sub-Saharan Africa and Pakistan. From 1991-2002, Allen was an associate general counsel for Microsoft, where he supported international commercial activities and product development groups. Allen earned an LL.M. in international business legal studies from University of Exeter, a J.D. from Southern Methodist University, and a B.A. from University of Texas. He is a Rotary Foundation Scholar, Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and Microsoft Alumni Integral Fellow.

Christine Chew

Christine Chew is an experienced educator, community leader, and public policy advocate. As a school board director for Bellevue, WA, she advocates for strong instruction and educational leadership to support all students. She also sits on the Washington State School Board Directors’ Resolutions Committee. Christine previously was executive director for College Access Now, a Washington State nonprofit. She also worked as a lead program manager for Microsoft, and as a high school science teacher. She holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and political science, and a master’s degree in toxicology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is completing a doctoral degree in science education at the University of Washington.

David S. Vogel

David S. Vogel is a world renown data mining and predictive modeling expert. He has won numerous data science awards and earned international recognition for the accuracy of his predictive models. He is the three-time winner of the prestigious KDD Cup and the Heritage Health Prize award. David is the founder and CEO of an award-winning quantitative hedge fund and has been quoted on charitable and financial issues in a variety of news sources including Bloomberg, Barron’s, and Think Tech. As a trustee of his family foundation, VoLo Foundation, David supports climate science research, education, and global health. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT and a M.S. in Scientific Computing from New York University.

Joyce Kim

Joyce is the Executive Director of Stellar.org, a nonprofit organization focused on open financial access. Stellar is a common payments platform that increases interoperability between diverse financial systems and currencies. Prior to Stellar, Joyce was a VC at Freestyle Capital as well as an entrepreneur. She worked as an attorney at Wilmer Hale and Sherman & Sterling, and pro bono at Sanctuary for Families and the Innocence Project. Joyce graduated from Cornell University at the age of 19, followed by graduate school at both Harvard and Columbia Law School. She serves as a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

Paul Cotton

Paul Cotton worked in information technology for 45 years. In 2017, he retired from Microsoft, after 17 years leading US and China teams that represented Microsoft in external standards organizations, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). He co-chaired the W3C HTML Working Group, which developed the HTML5 standards, and also represented Canada on several international standards committees. Paul has worked on database, document processing, and cloud computing technologies, worked with several IT startups, and been an angel investor. Early in his career, he worked for IBM and Fulcrum Technologies. His overseas experience includes IT assignments for CUSO, CIDA, and the United Nations in Tanzania, Chile, and Burma. Paul has traveled to over 90 countries. He has B.Math and M.Math computer science degrees from the University of Waterloo.

Tony Cavalieri

Tony Cavalieri joined the Agricultural Development group at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2012. As the lead for the Agricultural R&D group’s crop improvement team, he is focused on delivering improved seed varieties to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Tony consulted for USAID in Africa and advised The Nature Conservancy on sustainable agriculture strategy. Tony worked for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on issues related to science and technology policy in South Asia. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and was a board member for Chromatin, Inc. He spent 22 years with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a DuPont Company. He joined the company as a plant physiologist and conducted research to improve drought tolerance in maize. As Vice President of Pioneer for 10 years, he led the company’s research platform.

Tony is a fellow of the Crop Science Society of America. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Carolina and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois.

CONTACT

Amplio Network is a US-based nonprofit organization that uses its Talking Book audio device to help global partners amplify and widen their impact. Our technology makes it possible to share knowledge and transform lives for people with low literacy skills in the world's hardest to reach communities.

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