Cliff Schmidt started Literacy Bridge after spending six weeks in rural Ghana to research ideas for the Talking Book project with local nonprofits, universities, and government agencies. Aside from his service as a grassroots lobbyist for organizations working to end global poverty (such as CARE and RESULTS), most of his prior experience comes from business, nonprofit governance, and engineering.
Cliff ran a successful open source software consulting business for clients throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North America, specializing in intellectual property issues, nonprofit governance, privacy policies, and community development. He also served many nonprofit organizations, such as The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the Eclipse Foundation, the OpenSEA Alliance, and the Free Software Foundation, including service on the board of directors and as the Vice President of Legal Affairs for the ASF. In the 12 years prior to his consulting work, Cliff worked as an industry standards representative for Microsoft, as the open source programs manager for BEA Systems, and as a nuclear engineer and submarine officer for the US Navy. Cliff received his B.S. in Cognitive Science from MIT and his M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Washington.