Leadership

Meet our executive team, Board of Directors, and Advisory Council.

Ayan Kishore

CEO
Full Bio

Ayan Kishore is an experienced social entrepreneur and leader in technology for social impact and international development. He has a successful record in building and growing tech organizations that have helped millions globally– particularly minorities and the disadvantaged –to learn and secure jobs. As CEO, Kishore is tasked with unlocking opportunities for large-scale systems change and driving innovation through technology to transform how students, jobseekers, and older adults across the globe read, learn, and work through inclusive and equitable access to information. Prior to joining Benetech, Kishore founded and directed a digital social innovation lab at Creative Associates International focused on global literacy and peacebuilding. He served as EVP, Operations and Technology, and helped lead the IPO at Professional Diversity Network (PDN), an organization focused on increasing diversity and inclusion in the American workforce. He also founded and served as CEO for CareerImp, providing career improvement tools for jobseekers and college students to understand and overcome algorithmic biases in recruiting. Since 2008, Kishore has served as the Chairman of the Board for Development Solutions Organization, a volunteer program for top-tier college students and private sector professionals to provide pro bono consulting to racial justice and international development nonprofits. Kishore received a BSS in Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MS in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ayan Kishore Headshot

Kathie Lee

CFO
Full Bio

Kathie has over 20 years of accounting and finance experience with internet, semiconductor, hardware and nonprofit companies ranging in size from startup to publicly held. Kathie has a deep operational background with a continuous mindset toward process improvement, which augments her financial analysis and planning capabilities. Kathie serves as Benetech’s CFO via Ravix where she is CEO and managing partner. Previously, Kathie has served in finance roles for Neato Robotics, eBay and Agilent Technologies following her career launch with Hewlett-Packard. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley. Kathie cycles everywhere, logging over 1,000 miles per year.

Kathie Lee

Joel Riciputi

VP, MARKETING
Full Bio

Joel is a seasoned marketing executive with over 20 years of experience. At Benetech, Joel is responsible for all marketing strategy and operations, program and product marketing, digital marketing, and communications. Prior to Benetech, Joel was VP of Product Marketing at Nexant and has held senior marketing, product, and business development roles at startups and public companies as well as nonprofits. Over the past 20+ years Joel’s work has spanned a range of global technology challenges from sustainability and energy management to speech recognition and security, all at the juncture of leveraging technology for action and impact. Joel is passionate about seeking new ways to apply software for social good. In his free time, Joel enjoys cycling, fly fishing, backpacking and time with family.

Joel Riciputi

Aaron Firestone

VP, Business Development
Full Bio

Aaron Firestone is an experienced Business Development executive. At Benetech, Aaron is responsible for developing and implementing strategic fundraising priorities, enabling Benetech to scale impact in existing and new areas of work. Prior to Benetech, Aaron held marketing and program director roles at various environmental nonprofits. Aaron earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he focused on social enterprise and sustainable business, and he holds a B.A. in psychology from Swarthmore College. Aaron is passionate about harnessing new business models to drive social impact. In his free time, Aaron enjoys gardening, woodworking, and playing in the ocean with his family. 

Aaron Firestone headshot

Lisa Wadors

Director of Government and Community Affairs
Full Bio

Lisa oversees outreach, community, and advocacy work for Benetech’s Bookshare initiative. Lisa is an expert on special education policy and law, inclusion, and family and school collaboration, especially as it relates to accessible educational materials. She has a PhD in Special Education and Policy from UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University as well as a MA in Special Education from Santa Clara University.

Lisa Wadors

David P. Murphy

Director of Engineering
Full Bio

David has more than two decades of experience and a proven track record of bringing high-quality software solutions to market. He has been the Director of Engineering at Benetech since 2015 and manages overall software engineering responsibility for Benetech’s digital applications, systems operations and software development teams as well as the software architecture design for Benetech’s Bookshare application. David has a Masters in Artificial Intelligence from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BSC in Mathematics and Computer Science from Macquarie University.

David Murphy

Michael Johnson

Director of Content Partnerships
Full Bio

Michael Johnson is a seasoned executive with almost 40 years of experience in the technology, publishing, and education markets. Michael speaks regularly around the world on the need for content that is Born Accessible, meaning designed from the beginning in digital formats that are compatible with all key book reading platforms and accessibility features. Michael also works directly with the publishing industry to implement Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible program which empowers organizations to create, distribute, sell and offer fully accessible ebooks. He fervently believes in the importance of providing equal access to written information for people with disabilities and is using his long-standing relationships in the publishing industry to lead to systematic change.

Michael Johnson

Guillian Hetzler

Associate Director of Collection and Operations
Full Bio

Guillian oversees collection development and international library partnerships. Previously, Guillian was Benetech’s Director of Content Acquisitions. Before joining Benetech, she worked in client services at INscribe Digital and editorial at Simon & Schuster and Entangled Publishing. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia Publishing Course and is always on the lookout for her next great read. She serves on the Board of Bay Area Women in Publishing.

Guillian

Board of Directors

Kevin Lo

Chair of the Board

Christy Chin

Gerardo Capiel

GOOGLE

Theresa Fay-Bustillos

Jim Fruchterman

Founder, Benetech and CEO, Tech Matters

Dr. June Rumiko Klein

Palo Alto University

Yoko Nakao

Netflix

Dr. Katherine Schneider

Hema Sundarraj

Cepheid

Advisory Council

Anthony Bloome

Radhika Shah

Betsy Beaumon

Samuel Johnson

Shawn Anthony Robinson

Mark Wolfe

Tracy Weeden