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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 18, 2006

Panelist Bios for the White House Conference on Global Literacy


Perri Klass, MD, President and Medical Director, Reach Out and Read National Center, United States

Dr. Klass is Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University. For the past 12 years she has had a pediatric primary care practice at Dorchester House, a neighborhood health center in Boston. Through her role at Reach Out and Read, she has trained pediatricians around the country in how to integrate books and literacy into routine pediatric care.

Maria Diarra Keita, Founding Director, Institute for Popular Education, Mali

Ms. Keita is Founder and Director of the Institute for Popular Education (IEP). She has helped to develop a community education for empowerment curriculum and managed youth facilitators in an IEP model community school. She holds an MA in international education from the University of Massachusetts and was trained as a teacher at Ecole Normale Superieure in Bamako.

Florence Molefe, Facilitator, Family Literacy Project, South Africa

Ms. Molefe joined the Family Literacy Project in October 2000. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and holds the Higher Diploma in Adult Basic Education from the University of South Africa. In 2005, Florence Molefe won the Adult Learning Network award as the Best Adult Educator in South Africa.


Hasina Mojadidi, Instructional Development Coordinator, Learning for Life, Afghanistan

Ms. Mojadidi has a degree in literature from the University of Education in Kabul, Afghanistan. She joined the "Learning for Life" project as a consultant and then became manager of the instructional design team. Currently, Mojadidi is the Material Development Coordinator for the AED Higher Education Project for the Professional Development Centre at Kabul Education University.

Gonzalo Fiorilo, Director, Alfalit Bolivia

Mr. Fiorilo, an agronomy engineer, graduated from San Sim n University in Cochabamba, Bolivia, with studies in Wageningen, Holland. During the last 10 years, he was Director and Professor of Agricultural Economy Cochabamba, Bolivia advising on wording, execution and evaluation of social programs. He is currently the Director of Alfalit Boliviano - a USAID project.

Salah Sabri Sebeh, Head of Education Sector, Caritas Egypt

Mr. Sebeh received a degree in linguistics from the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University. He was a librarian at the Egyptian National Library from 1968 until 1991. He collaborated in the development of the Egyptian literacy curriculum known as "Learn to be Free." For the past 14 years, he has been the Director of the Basic Education Program for Adults at Caritas Egypt.


Regina Celia Esteves de Siqueira, Chief Executive Officer, AlfaSol Brazil

Ms. Esteves de Siqueira was Dean for Community and Finances at the S o Marcos University in S o Paulo, and acted as Projects Director for the Minister of Education in Brazil. She is CEO of Solidarity in Literacy (AlfaSol), a non-profit organization working to reduce illiteracy rates and to motivate public policies of education for youth and adults.

Krishna Mohan Rao, Ph.D, Deputy Director, Directorate of Adult Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, India

Dr. Rao has worked for two decades with various national and state adult education institutions in India. His innovative and effective literacy programs have resulted in award-winning improvements in literacy rates. The Government of Andhra Pradesh awarded him an "Excellent Service Certificate," and Telugu University, Hyderabad, presented him with the "GHSR Award" for outstanding contribution to adult education.

Koumba Boly Barry, Coordinator, Directorate for Development and Cooperation, Program for Literacy and Training, Burkina Faso

Dr. Barry holds a Ph.D. in economic history and specializes in education. She is a founding member of the Women University Graduates Association (WUGA), which promotes education for girls and women around the world and collaborates with the United Nations. Barry is involved in national and international political dialogues regarding alternative approaches to education in Africa.

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