Room to Read, Chief Program Officer
Heather Simpson is the Chief Program Officer of Room to Read, an organization that believes World Change Starts with Educated Children.® Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their communities and the world.
Heather is responsible for the design, execution, and monitoring of Room to Read’s Literacy and Girls’ Education programs in 16 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Heather leads the development and implementation of Room to Read’s overall educational program strategy and oversees the global programs teams. She serves as a critical member of the senior management team helping to set strategic direction for Room to Read’s programs and growth.
With over 20 years of international development experience at major nonprofit organizations, Heather has managed large-scale projects to increase access to quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged children around the world.
Prior to joining Room to Read, Heather was the Senior Director for Education and Child Protection at Save the Children. She has worked as a project manager and technical adviser for organizations such as the American Institutes for Research, Juarez and Associates, and Save the Children for education projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and other public and private donors, beginning her career as a Peace Corps volunteer based in Honduras. Throughout her career in international education, she has worked in Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Southern Africa and has contributed to dialogue on education with NPR, Brookings Institution, the World Bank’s Civil Society Panels, DevEx, Alhurra TV, PBS NewsHour, The New York Times, and USAID.
Heather earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University and her Master’s in Education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.