Room to Read Greenwich Chapter Hosts an Evening with Sir John Major and Tina Brown Focused on Empowering Girls Through Education

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The Greenwich Chapter of Room to Read, a global non-profit focused on literacy and girls’ education, together with Credit Suisse is proud to welcome The Right Honourable Sir John Major, KG, CH, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and Tina Brown, Editor-In-Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, for an evening of inspired conversation focused on empowering girls through education.

The Greenwich Chapter of Room to Read, a global non-profit focused on literacy and girls’ education, together with Credit Suisse is proud to welcome The Right Honourable Sir John Major, KG, CH, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and Tina Brown, Editor-In-Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, for an evening of inspired conversation focused on empowering girls through education.

"We've all seen the headlines that garnered global outrage--brave and determined young women falling victim to ruthless acts of violence--and it is now incumbent on all of us to take action and help the world understand that without education for girls, very little can change in the developing world," says Shauna Varvel, Room to Read’s Greenwich Chapter Co-Chair.

The event includes cocktails and dinner and will be held on Friday, May 3rd at 7:30 pm at the Greenwich Country Day School Dining Room, 401 Old Church Road, Greenwich, CT. Tickets are limited and can be purchased for $250 at All event proceeds will directly support Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program, supporting scholarships and mentoring for young women across Asia and Africa.

"The fact that over 100 million girls will wake up this morning and not go to school is a tragedy. Our goal is to turn it into an opportunity; when it costs as little as $250 per girl per year to help gain the lifelong gift of education (through Room to Read), the world can, and should, do more," says John Wood, Founder and Board Co-Chair of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World and Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy. Wood will speak about Room to Read’s mission and sign copies of Creating Room to Read at the event.

Founded in 2008, The Greenwich Chapter of Room to Read has successfully funded two libraries in Nepal, a library in Cambodia, and a school in Sri Lanka through the inspired action of volunteers and generous supporters. The chapter’s benefit last fall launched a campaign that ultimately raised over $4 million in seed funding to expand Room to Read’s programs in Indonesia. Since 2000, Room to Read has opened over 1,600 schools and over 15,000 libraries, distributed over 12 million books including over 850 self-published original local language titles, and supported over 20,000 girls to succeed in secondary school and beyond.

In addition to substantial fundraising efforts, the Greenwich Chapter has brought many noted authors to speak to the Greenwich community at Room to Read events including Patricia McCormick, Dr. Abraham Verghese, Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan and Half the Sky author, Sheryl WuDunn.

For more information, interviews or press inquiries, please contact Shauna Varvel at shaunavarvel(at)me(dot)com or 203-554-8233.

About Room to Read
Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than seven million children in 10 countries across Asia and Africa and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. Learn more at

About The Right Honourable Sir John Major, KG, CH
Sir John Major was elected to the UK Parliament in 1979, and served in a number of Government posts – including Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer – before being appointed Prime Minister in 1990. In the General Election of April 1992, he led the Conservative Party to an unprecedented fourth term in Office.

As Prime Minister, Sir John focused his efforts upon securing peace in Northern Ireland and upholding Britain's position in the world community as a political, social and economic leader. He was Prime Minister throughout the first Gulf War and, at home, instigated long-term reforms in education, health and public services. By common consent, when Sir John left Office following the General Election of May 1997, he left behind the best economy of any UK Government before him.

Following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Sir John was appointed Legal Guardian of Their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Prince Harry. In 1999, he was awarded the Companion of Honour by HM The Queen, in recognition of his initiation of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. On St George's Day 2005, HM The Queen appointed him as a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the UK's oldest and most prestigious Order of Chivalry. In 2012, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan.

Sir John's business interests include Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse; Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the National Bank of Kuwait; Chairman of the European Advisory Council of the Emerson Electric Company, St. Louis; Chairman of the Advisory Board of Global Infrastructure Management; and Chairman of the Global Advisory Board of AECOM. He served as Chairman of the Council of the Ditchley Foundation between 2000-2009, and became Joint President of Chatham House, London, in 2009.

Sir John holds a number of charitable appointments both in the UK and overseas. Most recently, HM The Queen asked him to Chair The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, established to create a lasting legacy to mark her sixty-year reign. The principal focus of the Trust is to put an end to avoidable blindness across all Commonwealth countries by the year 2020.

About Tina Brown
Tina Brown, founder and editor in chief of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, is one of the highest-profile, most talked-about editors in the world. From a young writer for Punch magazine and the Sunday Times, she quickly rose through the ranks of the magazine industry on both sides of the Atlantic to become editor in chief of Tatler, and then Vanity Fair. Brown went on to the venerable literary magazine, The New Yorker, where she became the first woman ever to serve as the editor. Brown hosted a well-received television program, Topic A with Tina Brown, on CNBC and in 2007 her biography, The Diana Chronicles spent several weeks at the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

In March 2010, Tina launched the annual Women in the World summit, and following its globally recognized success recently founded the Women in the World Foundation, which will serve as a resource to all who seek to learn about and engage on issues of importance to women and girls.

About John Wood
John Wood is the Founder and Board Co-Chair of Room to Read, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning charities founded during this century. A former Microsoft marketing executive, Wood left the company in 1999 to start the organization. John is a member of the Advisory Board of the Clinton Global Initiative. He was the first-ever Microsoft Alumni of the Year, an award bestowed by Bill and Melinda Gates. He is a five-time winner of Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist Award, a three-time speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and was given a Presidential Citation by the American Library Association. When not traveling the world for Room to Read, he makes his home in New York City.

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