Cliff Schmidt: Bringing Vital Knowledge to the World’s Poorest People

Cliff Schmidt is the founder and executive director of Literacy Bridge, a non-profit organization he started in 2007 to address global disease and poverty by making practical health and agriculture knowledge accessible to the world’s poorest populations. Schmidt led the development of the Talking Book, an innovative low-cost audio computer that delivers locally relevant information to people with no literacy skills, electricity, or Internet access.

For his work, Schmidt received the Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow Award from Bill and Melinda Gates and a Clinton Global Initiative membership from President Bill Clinton. He has also won the top prize at the Tech Awards and Computerworld Honors, and was named one of PBS Newshour’s “Agents for Social Change” in 2013.

Previously, Schmidt was a software developer at Microsoft and a nuclear engineering officer for the US Navy Submarine Force. He holds a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington.


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