Together, we will eradicate illiteracy by 2030.

Meet the Team - NABU


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Kathryn Ritchie, Chair

Founder and CEO of Ignition Institute

Kathryn Ritchie is the Founder and CEO of KR Strategy. KR Strategy is an international strategy execution firm. Kathryn is the architect of the firm’s intellectual capital and international growth strategy. Kathryn was previously in management at Macquarie Bank, and then a niche-consulting firm, Corporate Vision. Her areas of expertise lie in igniting the potential of companies and enabling organizations to clarify and prioritize objectives and successfully execute their agreed strategy. Kathryn earned an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and holds an applied science bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology.

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Damien Vanderwilt

Partner at Goldman Sachs

Damien has been a Partner at Goldman Sachs for almost 20 years, and is head of the FICC Execution Services division in New York. He and his wife Tina have been long time supporters of children’s charities, including the Global Fund for Children and War Child in the UK. Damien is Australian and has a bachelor’s of business from Bond University. 


Deanna Lane

CEO Fastlane Consulting Group 

Deanna Lane is a management consultant and board director with a career spanning more than 20 years in senior executive roles advising on strategy, business development and fundraising, stakeholder engagement, business planning and alignment of purpose with key messaging. She has deep sector experience with top tier law and accounting firms: global brands including KPMG, Reuters, Citibank, ASX, Time Warner, Thomson Legal & Regulatory, Park Hyatt Sydney, Conde Nast and CHANEL. Industry associations/ professional education institutes and universities: IFSA (now Financial Services Council), Australian Institute of Company Directors, Institute of Actuaries, Faculty of Economics & Business – University of Sydney, Australian Institute of Management, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Human Genetics Society of Australasia. Arts organisations: Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Australian String Quartet. 

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Kelly Gallagher

Vice President of Content Acquisition at Ingram Content Group

Kelly is the Vice President of Acquisitions at Ingram. He joined Ingram 6 years ago from Bowker, where he was previously VP of Publisher Services. He has a deep knowledge of the publishing landscape, which he brings to help NABU navigate the publishing space. Kelly has long been involved in Rwanda and is involved in coffee production in the country. Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in scientific and technical writing from Northern Arizona University. 

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Kweku Mandela

Co-owner of Out of Africa Entertainment and Co-founder of non-profit Africa Rising

Kweku Mandela is the grandson of the former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela. He is the co-owner of Out of Africa Entertainment, a leading TV and film production company in Africa. In 2009, he co-founded the non-profit Africa Rising with Ndaba Mandela. Africa Rising seeks to contribute to the development of the African continent, and to change the perception of Africa by the global community through publications, film, media and social interaction. Kweku attended the APA International Film School in Sydney, Australia. Kweku was born in Transkei, South Africa, and grew up in the US, only to return to his homeland in 1993.


Kevin Baird

Chief Academic Officer, Achieve 3000

Kevin Baird (MBA, ALEP) serves as Chief Academic Officer for Achieve3000. Kevin is a noted leader in college and career readiness content, strategies and standards. He has participated in educational research on every continent save for Antarctica, consulted with governments to create college & career readiness initiatives, and has served as trainer and consultant for states and districts across North America. Kevin has served as Chairman and Senior Faculty at the non-profit Center for College & Career Readiness.
Kevin creates graduate-level programs in College & Career Readiness for school administrators, and is a sought-after speaker around the world. An expert in the use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence in education, he has helped to create a variety of K-12 and higher ed technologies. Kevin has collaborated with Achieve3000 for more than 15 years and also contributes as a member of our Educator Leadership Council.

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Isabel Sheinman

Co-creator NABU

Isabel Sheinman is currently pursuing her MBA at New York Unviersity. A Co-Creator and Board Member of NABU and for six years she served as the Director of Strategy and Development for the organization. Isabel is a co-Founder of the Roadmaps Festival, a humanitarian and cultural festival in NYC, and serves on the advisory councils of arts organizations No Longer Empty and BYkids. Her areas of expertise lie in strategic partnership development and community mobilization. Isabel holds a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Georgetown University.


Simon Freakley 

CEO of AlixPartners

Simon is the Chief Executive Officer of AlixPartners. He is based in New York and, with his team, provides transformative leadership to businesses and stakeholders, responding quickly and decisively to their most complex and critical challenges.
Simon became CEO of AlixPartners in 2015. In his more than 30 years of experience, Simon has combined his skills in business turnaround, strategic consulting, and stakeholder management in the development of performance improvement and accelerated transformation projects for many large and high-profile businesses. Before joining AlixPartners, Simon was CEO of Zolfo Cooper Europe from 2008 to 2015. Prior to this, he was CEO of Kroll Inc., a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in New York. Long involved in philanthropic causes, Simon is the chairman of the American Friends of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as chairman of Grange Park Opera and London Music Masters. 

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Tanyella Evans

Executive Director, Co-Creator

Tanyella Evans is co-creator and Executive Director of NABU. Prior to NABU, Tanyella served as Executive Director of Artists for Peace and Justice, where she established a school for 3,000 students in one of the poorest communities in Haiti. In 2010 she helped to launch the social enterprise Giveacar in the UK generating new revenue streams for local charities. She started her career at the Campaign for Female Education. Tanyella is the recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, an International Literacy Association 30 Under 30 Leader, an Echoing Green Fellow, and one of Forbes 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs. She graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2009, with a major in political science.

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