Our team

Amplio Network is based in Seattle, Washginton, but our team works internationally. If you’d like to talk to a member of our team or find out when we’ll be visiting your part of the world, please get in touch.

CLIFF SCHMIDT

Founder and Executive Director

Cliff founded Amplio (formerly Literacy Bridge) in 2007 to address global poverty by making sustainable agriculture and health information accessible to those who need it most. He led the development of an audio-based mobile device called the “Talking Book” for people with low literacy skills living in rural areas without electricity or Internet access. Cliff is a two-time recipient of Microsoft’s Integral Fellows Award (2010, 2014) presented by Bill and Melinda Gates. He was selected as a Clinton Global Initiative members by President Bill Clinton and featured as a PBS Newshour Agent of Change in 2013. Cliff also received the top prize at The Tech Awards (2012), a Computerworld Honors Award (2013), and a Qatar Foundation Wise Award (2015) for the Talking Book program.

Prior to starting Amplio, Cliff was a software developer for Microsoft and a nuclear engineering officer for the U.S. Navy Submarine Force. He holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science from MIT and M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. Cliff loves music and plays tenor saxophone.

Bea Covington

Global Partnerships Director

An economist and data-driven leader, Bea worked for USAID, International Finance Corporation, and private sector clients. She has extensive experience building public/private partnerships. In the Peace Corps, Bea taught and developed teacher training programs in Morocco and Togo. She completed her M.Ag in Natural Resource Economics and M.S. in Adult Education and Communication at the University of Florida. Her experience includes launching and scaling programs and initiatives that bring together sustainability, economic viability, and the needs of citizens, government, and the private sector. Bea also has designed participatory engagement methodologies and tools to engage communities in conflict areas. For her work in Afghanistan, she received awards from the US Department of State and USAID.

Prior to joining Amplio, Bea helped farmers and private landowners adopt and implement conservation practices in Washington state. She looks forward to brushing up on her French and Arabic language skills.

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 Inclan

ERIN INCLÁN

Communications Director

Erin has 20+ years of strategic communications experience and a passion for promoting access to education. As marketing editor for Simmons College, Boston, she developed the voice and messaging for $1.2m branding campaign that led to university-wide enrollment increases. Prior to joining Amplio, Erin consulted on marketing, branding, and fundraising campaigns for higher education and nonprofits. She designed her B.A. in Multi/Cultural Studies and Communication at The Evergreen State College, and worked for the Office of Tibet in New York City for two years. Locally, she participates in community placemaking. Internationally, she mentors women scholars in Nepal.

LINE NGATCHOU

Chief Operations Director

Line has worked with rural women’s associations in Burkina Faso, where she implemented a strategic model to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of Shea butter trademark and product quality certification. Her research data is referenced in published articles on “Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP)” in Africa. In 2016, Line received the 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. Fluent in French, Italian, and English, she enjoys movies, Zumba, travel, 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.

LINDSAY DAKAN

Business Development Coordinator

Lindsay is an international development professional with experience living and working in Asia and Africa. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she taught English frs at a university in Nanchong, Sichuan province in China. She then worked with NGOs in Uganda for four years. She has expertise in program monitoring and evaluation, and is passionate about women’s empowerment and gender equity. She earned her M.A. in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University and a B.A. in Philosophy and Human Rights at Trinity College. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys yoga, cooking good food, hiking, and cuddling with Kavuyo, her rescue cat from Uganda.

RABIYA ABDUL

Product Manager

Rabiya was born and brought up in south India. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and worked with Accenture as a software engineer. She moved to the U.S in 2013 to gain business knowledge and completed her MBA degree in Finance. As a project manager for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Rabiya created a report on the hardware and software assets utilized by the State of Oregon. She also worked as a senior business analyst for Avanade, a Microsoft partner. She created a product roadmap for NEOGOV’s talent management suite and launched their Analytics product to help organizations identify the effectiveness of their business processes. Rabiya enjoys painting, traveling, and playing video games.

LISA ZOOK

Quality Assurance Manager

Lisa oversees monitoring and evaluation for Talking Book programs and contributes to R&D for Amplio products and services. Over the last 10 years, Lisa has designed and implemented monitoring and evaluation systems that break down the complexities of the contexts in which we work and amplify the voices of local communities in development decision-making. She splits her time between Amplio and her consulting firm, InformEd International, that specializes in M&E and program design for early grade education projects. Lisa has worked with Save the Children, RTI, World Vision, UNICEF, World Bank, and Right To Play. She is a co-founder of Seattle Evaluation Association and enjoys translating data into action through effective data visualizations and communication.  She has an MPH from University of Michigan and is a graduate of Davidson College.   

Board of Directors

Tony Cavalieri

Tony joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development group at in 2012. As R&D lead for the crop improvement team, he focuses on delivering improved seed varieties to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Tony has consulted for USAID in Africa, advised the Nature Conservancy on sustainable agriculture strategy, and worked for the International Food Policy Research Institute on issues related to science and technology policy in South Asia. Earlier in his career, at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, he conducted research to improve drought tolerance in maize and, a vice president, led Pioneer’s research platform for 10 years. Tony was a board director for International Center for Tropical Agriculture and Chromatin, Inc., and is a Crop Science Society of America fellow. He has a Ph.D. in Biology from University of South Carolina and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois.

Christine Chew

Board Vice Chair

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. Christine has a PhD in Education from the University of Washington, as well as a B.S. in chemistry/political science and a G.S. in genetic toxicology from MIT.

Paul Cotton

Board Chair

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.

Joyce Kim

Joyce Kim 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 venture capitalist at Freestyle Capital, as well as an entrepreneur. She worked as an attorney at Wilmer Hale and Sherman & Sterling, and served as a pro bono lawyer at Sanctuary for Families and the Innocence Project in New York City. 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.

 

DENA MORRIS

Dena is president of Washington Global Health Alliance, a state membership organization that connects and informs organizations working to improve health equity among the world’s most vulnerable populations. As director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control in Washington, D.C., Dena led CDC’s Congressional engagement during the agency’s response to the Zika virus, the challenge to its opioid prescribing guidelines, and the federal interagency water contamination discovery and response in Flint, Michigan. Dena previously led the policy team for a senior member of the Senate leadership on Capitol Hill and was a senior vice president of a D.C.-based consulting firm, where she chaired the health and disability rights practice team.

 

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.

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.

CONTACT

Email: info@amplio.org

Phone: +1 (206) 973-0499

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