Staff

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Pam Allyn

Executive Director & Chief Storyteller

Pam Allyn is a world-renowned literacy expert, author and motivational speaker. She is the Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld, a groundbreaking global literacy movement serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries, and LitLife, a cutting-edge education consulting group specializing in professional development for PreK-12 literacy instruction.

Pam received the 2013 Scholastic Literacy Champion Award, and is Scholastic's Open a World of PossibleAmbassador. She is a spokesperson for BIC Kids, championing BIC's "Fight For Your Write" campaign. In April 2014, she was chosen as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow in Racial Equity and Healing, a three year initiative to support recognized equity leaders in their work on the ground. She was selected as a mentor for the 2013 Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship to help young Egyptian women develop leadership skills.

Pam is the author of 26 books for educators, leaders and families on reading, writing and quality learning. Her most recent book is Every Child a Super Reader (Scholastic, 2015), co-authored with Dr. Ernest Morrell. Other books include Your Child's Writing Life (Avery, 2011), What To Read When (Avery, 2009), and Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys (Scholastic, 2011). She has written and contributed to a number of curriculum and instruction books, including the Core Ready series (Pearson, 2013), the Complete Year series (Scholastic, 2008) and Homework Pages for Independent Reading (Scholastic, 2013).

Pam is featured widely in traditional press and on social media as a literacy expert for both home and school. She has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NBC News, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post, CNN International, Al Jazeera and in The New York Times, speaking to the power of education and literacy to transform lives and to create gender and racial equity.

 
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Yohanna Briscoe

Strategy & Key Relationships Director

Yohanna joined LitWorld in 2014 to work with our Board of Directors, oversee our strategic planning process and run Story21 family LitClubs in Harlem. She comes to the LitWorld team with extensive nonprofit experience. At Amherst College, she worked at the Center for Community Engagement coordinating internships and facilitating student trips. In her last position she worked as a Program Coordinator at a mental health focused community center in Montpelier, Vermont. She recently earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management. In addition, she currently sits on the board of Sundog Poetry. In 2009, she earned a degree in Black Studies from Amherst College. Yohanna has a deep love for reading and spent much of her childhood lost in literary adventures!

 

Kisha Bwenge

Communications Coordinator

Kisha joined us as a summer intern in 2016, soon after she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in International Development. She comes to the LitWorld team with international, research and communications experience from internships at her university and from her work abroad in Tanzania and Nigeria. She was drawn to LitWorld's commitment to supporting the imagination and agency of children everywhere, and she herself has recently rediscovered her childhood love of reading. She is now a proud member of the not-so-secret club of New York City's subway readers. 

 
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Jennifer Estrada

Director of the HerStory Campaign

Jennifer joined the LitWorld team shortly after its founding in 2008. She began as the Executive Assistant and moved into program development and management as LitWorld grew into a leading organization in literacy and social-emotional education and advocacy. She is a passionate advocate and educator who has worked with children and youth in communities throughout North America, Europe and Africa. After receiving her MSc in International Education from Oxford University, Jennifer returned to LitWorld to lead this strategic expansion initiative in partnership with Global G.L.O.W. Global G.L.O.W. is a California-based nonprofit focused on mentorship for girls. Jennifer is jointly employed by LitWorld and Global G.L.O.W. and divides her time between the New York and California offices with her primary base in New York.

 
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Dorothy Lee

Creative Director

Dorothy joined the LitWorld team in 2009 with a focus on web, video, and graphic design exploration and communications. Dorothy now manages strategic partnerships and oversees LitWorld's general operations. She first worked with Pam Allyn in her Books for Boys program at Children's Village during the summer of 2004 while she was a student at Amherst College. Dorothy grew up working behind the scenes with her parents at their Mettawee River Theatre Company in New York City and upstate New York, and she maintains an eclectic array of skills.

 

Diandra Malahoo

Programming & Communications Coordinator

Diandra joined the LitWorld team in 2015. She majored in International Relations and minored in Economics at the City College of New York. She also has a TEFOL certificate and taught English abroad in Haiti. She brings non-profit, education and international experience to the team. At LitWorld, Diandra will support on programming, development, social media strategy and curriculum writing. She grew up in Queens, NY and still loves to explore NYC in her free time (and always brings a great book on her adventures!).

 

Naomi Meyer

HerStory Campaign Coordinator

Naomi recently returned from Burkina Faso where she worked as a community educator with Peace Corps. She was previously employed as a teacher at local schools in Burma/Myanmar, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Japan and worked for a variety of social change non-profits in New Zealand and the United States. She double majored in International Relations and Political Science at Victoria University of Wellington and loves to engage with and advocate for stories of strength and resilience from around the world.

 

Amelia Moore

Programming & Design Coordinator

Amelia worked as a LitWorld summer intern in 2012, and joined the staff full time in the fall of 2015. She grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Amherst College. Her senior thesis—a graphic novel about a charter school—combined her passion for art with her interest in making the world a better place for young people. At LitWorld, Amelia will continue to combine these interests, working on creative design and art activities with LitClubs. In her free time, Amelia loves to read and draw rappers and reality TV stars.

 

Amber Peterson

US Program Director


Amber Peterson joined the LitWorld team in July of 2015.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in English Literature, Geology and Theater Arts from Oberlin College, and a Masters in Education from St. John's University.  Before joining the LitWorld family, she worked for seven years as a middle school english language arts and social studies teacher in New York City, and taught English as a Second Language for two years in Tokyo, Japan.  She loves travel, theater, and science, and is a passionate advocate for global literacy and educational equity.

 

Emma Schneider

Communications Manager

Emma has a background in international studies, communications, and has worked with various nonprofits to effect measurable change.  She received her Bachelor of Arts from University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she double majored in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Emma keeps up to date on the latest digital tools to find the best platform for every story, whether it's 140 characters or a 2-minute video. When she's not working, she loves exploring her new neighborhood, planning world travels, and attempting to incorporate more vegetables into her cooking.

 

Ellie Smith

Development Coordinator

Ellie joined the LitWorld team in 2016, after working as a Fundraising and Events Coordinator for a non-profit independent elementary school. She was drawn to LitWorld's mission and amazing staff. She majored in English at Amherst College, and explored many different kinds of writing during her time there. When she isn't reading, she enjoys trying new foods and planning trips with her best friend. 

 
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Ana Stern

International Program Director

Ana joined LitWorld in 2013 as the International Program Director. She oversees the management and expansion of LitWorld's international work. Ana brings a lifelong commitment to working with and for children throughout the world. Starting her career in the New York City public schools and after-school programs, Ana expanded her work to Brazil, Guatemala, and India before joining LitWorld. Ana spent three years in India at the Akanksha Foundation in Pune, India, where she managed the after school programs at a local organization that worked to provide innovative English language learning opportunities for marginalized children. Ana grew up in New York City and attended New York University, where she received both her bachelors degree in elementary education and her masters degree in public administration. When she isn’t working with LitWorld, Ana enjoys riding her bike to work, dancing, and learning new languages.