Last night, the Microsoft Alumni Foundation announced the first class of Integral Fellows, a fellowship program that recognizes and supports a Microsoft alumnus who has made a meaningful difference to others by contributing to the community.
The 66 nominees were narrowed to six finalists by a group of prestigious judges: Former President Jimmy Carter, Bill Drayton, Bill Gates Sr., Pierre Omidyar, and Tom Tierney. Of the six finalists honored at the gala last night, John Wood was announced as one of the three inaugural Integral Fellows along with Trish Millines Dziko of Technology Access Foundation and Patrick Awuah of Ashesi University.
John left Microsoft in 1999 after visiting a primary school in Nepal and seeing first-hand the absolute poverty and extreme lack of educational resources. As a result, he started Room to Read in 2000, and since then the organization has provided educational opportunities to over 3.1 million children across Asia and Africa.
I’m very proud to be a member of the Room to Read Board of Directors. The work this organization does is outstanding, and the momentum continues to build as we move forward into our second decade. Room to Read is working with the Microsoft Alumni Foundation to identify how to partner in a variety of ways. We look forward to their support of and engagement in our work so that more former Microsofties can join us in our efforts to change the world through the lifelong gift of education.
Please join me in congratulating John and Room to Read for receiving this honor. Our accomplishments are due to a growing global network of supporters, and we thank you for being a part of it!
To watch a video on John from the event and to read more about the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, click here.