David Risher

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Born July 15, 1965 (age 51 years), Bethesda, Maryland, United States Education Princeton University Occupation Co-founder and CEO of Worldreader

John David Risher (born July 15, 1965) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Worldreader, a non-profit organization that aims to bring digital books to the developing world through mobile phones and e-readers.[1]

Risher served as an executive at Microsoft Corporation,[2] and was Senior Vice President of US Retail at Amazon.com from 1997 to 2002.[3] In November 2009, together with Colin McElwee, he founded Worldreader.[4]

Early life and background[edit]

Risher grew up in his mother's house in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

In 1987 he graduated from Princeton University,[5] where he majored in Comparative Literature and wrote his thesis on “The Changing Attitudes towards Language in Samuel Beckett’s early Metafiction.”

After graduating from college, he worked at L.E.K. Consulting,[6] and then bicycled across the United States before entering Harvard Business School, graduating in 1991.[7]

Career[edit]

At Microsoft, Risher was General Manager in charge of launching the company’s first database product, Access. He went on to found and manage Microsoft Investor.[8] In 1997, he left Microsoft to join Amazon.com as Vice President of Product and Store development. He later served as the company’s Senior Vice President, US Retail, overseeing the marketing and general management of Amazon’s retail operations.[9]

After leaving Amazon in 2002, Risher taught at the University of Washington’s Foster Business School, where he created the University’s course on “Competing on the Internet.” He was elected Professor of the Year in 2004.[10]

Risher founded Worldreader after a year-long trip around the world with his family, home-schooling his daughters and volunteering at a school in China. After visiting an orphanage in Ecuador, Risher saw how e-reader technology could give kids in remote and under-served parts of the world access to books.[11]

Worldreader is a Barcelona, Spain, and US-based 501c public charity whose mission is “to create a world where everyone can be a reader.”[12] In March 2009, Worldreader launched a trial in Ayenyah, Ghana. Worldreader reports that, after receiving positive results, they were granted permission from Ghana’s Ministry of Education to distribute e-readers to additional schools in Ghana.[13]

Risher is an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative,[14] a Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur.[15] He serves on the International Advisory Board of ESADE,[16] and sits on the International Advisory Board of Catalunya.[17]

Recognition[edit]

  • Draper Richards Kaplan Social Entrepreneur[18]
  • Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Invited Member[19]
  • Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow 2011[20]
  • Publishers Weekly's “Eleven for the Millennium[21]
  • Schwab Foundation's Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2016[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Worldreader: E-books on Cell Phones and Kindles in Schools". Worldreader. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  2. ^ "12 entrepreneurs who are changing the world". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  3. ^ Waldron, Ann (1999). "Fall Football Preview". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 100: 54. 
  4. ^ "12 entrepreneurs who are changing the world". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Out of Amazon, into Africa". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  6. ^ "Worldreader - About Our President David Risher". Worldreader. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  7. ^ "David Risher (MBA 1991) - Alumni - Harvard Business School". Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  8. ^ "David Risher | The Huffington Post". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  9. ^ "There's a heartwarming Easter egg hidden within Amazon's website". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  10. ^ "David Risher '87, Co-founder and President, Worldreader "Worldreader and the Quest to Eradicate Illiteracy"". Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  11. ^ "Worldreader aims to eradicate global illiteracy by giving children e-readers". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  12. ^ "Worldreader: E-books on Cell Phones and Kindles in Schools". Worldreader. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  13. ^ "Worldreader's History - Milestones in Books for All". Worldreader. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  14. ^ "David Risher | Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". www.schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  15. ^ "David Risher | Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". www.schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  16. ^ ESADE. "ESADE International Advisory Board". ESADE. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  17. ^ "Es constitueix l'International Advisory Board". premsa.gencat.cat. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  18. ^ "David Risher | Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". www.schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  19. ^ "David Risher | Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". www.schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  20. ^ "Microsoft Alumni Network - David Risher". www.microsoftalumni.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  21. ^ "PW: Eleven for the Millennium". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 
  22. ^ "Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2016 - Schwab Foundation". widgets.weforum.org. Retrieved 2017-01-18.