Board of Directors

Amplio’s board includes leaders and innovators who work on cross-cutting issues in technology and international development, including sustainable agriculture, climate impact, civil society, education, health, law, and women's empowerment.

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Tawiah Agyarko-Kwarteng

Sustainable Development Consultant

Tawiah is a development consultant for the both non-profit and private sectors in West Africa. She currently serves as Technical Manager at the Côte d'Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative, a joint body set up by the world's two largest producers of cocoa to enhance cooperation. A dynamic leader, Tawiah has led programs on literacy, workplace, health, HIV education, corporate social responsibility, and cocoa sustainability for The Hershey Company and World Education. She also has her consulting firm, Heritage Flow2 Company, in Accra, Ghana. As the Country Advisor for Empowered to Educate, Tawiah provides leadership training and mentors women educators. She holds an MPA in international development from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Connect with Tawiah on LinkedIn.

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Tim Akinbo

Software Developer and Entrepreneur

Tim founded and leads TimbaObjects Technologies, LTd, a mobile technology startup. He created Apollo, an SMS-based program to monitor elections for voter turnout and interference. During the 2011 Nigerian presidential election, his company partnered with the National Democratic Institute to roll out its monitoring tools. Since then, Apollo has been used in 15 countries, including the United States. Tim collaborated with UNICEF Nigeria and the National Population Council to design and build a data capture and analysis platform to measure birth registrations. More recently, he helped co-found QALA — a program designed to train the next generation of African Bitcoin and Lightning developers.  

Connect with Tim on Linkedin.

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Livia Benavides

Development Specialist

Livia joined the World Bank in 1994 and worked as a senior social sector specialist and operations manager for the Andean Countries. Prior to her retirement, she was Program Leader for Human Development and oversaw a portfolio of operations in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. Before joining the World Bank, Liva worked for the Pan-American Center for Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (CEPIS) as an environmental health specialist and consulted for international organizations. She holds an M.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a postgraduate diploma in economics from the University of London. Livia has published and presented on a range of topics, including economics, health, education, social protection, science and technology, and environmental issues.

Connect with Livia on Linkedin.

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Tony Cavalieri

Agriculture R&D Advisor

Tony is a biologist and agriculture R&D advisor. He has worked in international development, with both the public and private sectors. Prior to retirement, he was a senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he focused on agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. Tony has served as an advisor and consultant for the International Food Policy Research Institute, USAID, and The Nature Conservancy. He was an executive leader and researcher at Dupont Pioneer Hi-Bred International for 23 years, where he worked on drought tolerance and physiological approaches to improving crops. He served on the board of trustees for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and the Science Center of Iowa. Tony holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Carolina.

Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.

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Christine Chew

Educator and public policy advocate

Christine is a Bellevue School District board member in Washington State. As the Board's legislative representative, she also advocates for students at the state level. She is passionate about equitable science and technology learning, instruction, and leadership in schools and communities. Formerly the executive director of Seattle nonprofit, College Access Now, Christine collaborated with community schools to make college possible for underserved students. She also worked as a high school science teacher and was a program management lead at Microsoft for eight years. Christine holds a doctorate in education from the University of Washington.

Connect with Christine on LinkedIn.

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Paul Cotton

Founder and President, PBC & Associates

Paul has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of software development. Paul is credited with Microsoft’s cloud computing interoperability and standards strategy. In 2017, he retired from Microsoft after more than a decade of leading the company’s web services standardization efforts within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), OASIS, and WS-I. Paul has represented Canada on international standards committees, worked with IT startups, and been an angel investor. His overseas experience includes IT assignments for CUSO, CIDA, and the United Nations in Tanzania, Chile, and Burma. Early on, Paul worked for IBM and Fulcrum Technologies. He has an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Waterloo. He currently convenes an international group that works on standards for Artificial Intelligence. 

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

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Ann Ford

Executive Director Clients and Sectors, DLA Piper

Ann is an attorney with an international law firm and serves on the board of the Women's Bar Association Foundation. She practices in the areas of US and international trademark, branding, and copyright law, including laws governing the use and protection of intellectual property on the Internet. Ann has received international recognition for her work. The independent research company Chambers and Partners included Ann in its prestigious Tier #1 ranking as one of America's leading lawyers for intellectual property. The Washington Business Journal named her to its shortlist of Top Washington Lawyers in the Intellectual Property category. Arrive magazine, the official publication of Amtrak and Acela Express, named her to its list of Top Women Lawyers in the Northeast. Ann also has been recognized by Legal 500, which praised her for being "pragmatic, not afraid to voice an opinion, but with a great sense of humor, which is important." She holds a JD from the Duke University School of Law.

Connect with Ann on LinkedIn.

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Steven Larky

Retired Semiconductor Executive and Angel Investor

Steven retired in 2021 after 37 years in the semiconductor industry. He dedicates his time to volunteerism, angel investing, and opportunities to give back and improve the world (Tikkun Olam). Steven is on the board of Free To Thrive, a non-profit that advocates for justice for human trafficking survivors. As a member of NuFund Venture Group, he has co-led due diligence on multiple companies. Steven’s volunteer roles for MIT include educational counselor, president of the MIT Club of San Diego, and chair of the MIT Annual Giving Board. Steven has been recognized with the Henry B. Kane ’24 award for exceptional service and fundraising for MIT. He is an avid cyclist for fun and fundraising, participating in NPF Cycle rides and Padres Pedal rides for Curebound. Steven earned an SBEE degree from MIT and has 41 issued US patents.

Connected with Steven on LinkedIn.

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Dena Morris

Chief of Staff, Seattle Public Schools

Dena has three decades of policy and senior management experience in advocacy, coalition-building, and leadership in legislative and executive branches of the federal government and in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Seattle Public Schools, Dena served as president and CEO of Washington Global Health Alliance. Before moving to Seattle, Dena led the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s congressional engagement in Washington, DC. Under her leadership, the CDC secured emergency appropriations to fund the response to the Zika virus, defended the CDC's opioid prescribing guidelines and worked with Congress and stakeholders through the Flint, Michigan, water contamination discovery and response. Dena also worked on Capitol Hill as the legislative director for U.S. Senator Richard Durbin for nine years. At B&D Consulting, she was senior vice president and co-chair of the health and disability rights practice team. She holds a master of public policy from Georgetown University.

Connect with Dena on LinkedIn.

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Sylvia Omulo

Assistant Professor, Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, Washington State University

Sylvia specializes in antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease in her home country. has extensive experience in the field of infectious diseases and public health. Over the course of her career, she has helped establish and support diagnostic capacity for infectious diseases in various countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria. Sylvia runs the Antimicrobial Resistance in Communities and Hospitals (ARCH) research project in Kenya, which focuses on identifying the risk factors for antibiotic resistance carriage in community and hospital settings, determining the possible trafficking of genetic material between resistant bacteria in these settings, and investigating how animals contribute to these processes. Sylvia holds a Ph.D. in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from Washington State University and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Connect with Sylvia on LinkedIn.

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Kevin Reed

Judicial Commissioner, Shelby County, TN

Kevin is a magistrate of the General Sessions Criminal Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. In that capacity, he sets bonds, reviews warrants, and presides over preliminary hearings and petitions for orders of protection in domestic abuse cases. Kevin started out his career in criminal law and worked as an assistant public defender for five years, before moving to private practice. He later built his own personal injury and family law practices. Kevin is a frequent speaker about domestic violence issues. Specifically, he advocates for more men to take a stand against domestic violence. Kevin earned a J.D. from Howard University School of Law and a bachelor of science in engineering from MIT.

Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Margo Schneider

Senior Executive Director of Digital Strategy, UW Medicine

Margo is Senior Executive Director of Digital Strategy for UW Medicine, where she leads technology, communications, and creative teams to advance digital innovations to improve public health. Prior to joining UW Medicine, Margo designed and led Seattle Children’s Hospital's first digital content strategy program. She also helped build a consumer health startup that was acquired by WebMD. As a Microsoft consultant, Margo oversaw the strategic development and management of customer evidence programs spanning North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. 

Connect with Margo on LinkedIn.

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Cliff Schmidt

Founder and Executive Director, Amplio 

Cliff founded Amplio (as Literacy Bridge) in 2007 and developed the Talking Book audio device to address literacy barriers and help alleviate global poverty. He has received numerous awards and recognition for Talking Book technology and programs, including the Microsoft Alumni Network's Integral Fellow award (2010, 2014), the top prize at The Tech Awards (2012), a Computerworld Honors Award (2013), and a WISE Award (2015). Cliff is a Clinton Global Initiative member and has been featured as a PBS NewsHour Agent of Change. Prior to founding Amplio, Cliff worked as a software developer for Microsoft and a nuclear engineering officer for the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. He holds an M.S. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in cognitive science from MIT. 

Connect with Cliff on LinkedIn.

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Revi Sterling

Director, USAID's WomenConnect Challenge

Revi is a pioneer and specialist in technology and gender. She supports solutions to improve women's digital connectivity and economic empowerment. Prior to leading USAID's WomenConnect Challenge, Revi served as chief of the party at NetHope and directed the Women and the Web Alliance, a private/public partnership with USAID, Intel, NetHope, World Vision, World Pulse, and UN Women. Revi founded and directed the nation's first ICT for development graduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder. At Microsoft Research, she managed university research programs and spearheaded the company's gender and technology initiatives. Revi holds a Ph.D. in media, technology, and society from UC Boulder. She consults widely on using technology to empower women and marginalized populations

Connect with Revi on LinkedIn.

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David S. Vogel

Founder and CEO, Voloridge Investment Management

David is a data scientist who has earned international recognition for his predictive modeling accuracy. He has won the prestigious KDD Cup several times and the Heritage Health Prize in 2013. As the founder and CEO of Voloridge Investment Management, an award-winning quantitative hedge fund, David has been cited in Bloomberg, Barron’s, and other media for his expertise on charitable and financial topics. He serves on the Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As founder and trustee of VoLo Foundation, David conducts scientific data research to generate awareness about climate impact. He is a board member for the Environmental Defense Fund, JUST Capital, and Amplio. He holds an M.S. in scientific computing from New York University and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT.

Connect with David on LinkedIn.