Benetech, the parent organization of Bookshare just announced the appointments of Betsy Beaumon as president and Mark Roberts as chief operating officer. Founder Jim Fruchterman continues as Benetech’s chief executive officer, evangelizing Benetech and advancing the technology-for-good field. The goal of the senior appointments is to increase Benetech’s social impact at scale and its capacity to create new social enterprises that use technology to deliver social good.
Through its recently launched technological innovation arm, Benetech Labs, Benetech has been increasingly focused on developing business models, partnerships, and technologies that deliver new solutions to unmet social needs while also implementing and scaling its existing social enterprises. “In their expanded new roles, Betsy and Mark set Benetech on a path to launch new enterprises, scale our existing ones, and grow our global impact by at least a factor of ten,” says Fruchterman. In a related development, Benetech also announced the promotion of Anh Bui to vice president of Benetech Labs. Bui formerly served as director of product strategy in Benetech’s Global Literacy Program.
Over the past six years, Beaumon—an engineer, technology executive, and social entrepreneur—has spearheaded the Global Literacy Program as its general manager, leading it through a tremendous expansion in both size and breadth of impact. She has grown Bookshare, Benetech’s accessible online library, tenfold, delivering over seven million books and transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities across the United States and internationally. Beaumon has spearheaded the movement to see that all new digital books and courses are “born accessible” to all, and is driving that vision forward through research and development partnerships with corporate, technology, university, and nonprofit communities.
As President, Beaumon is now responsible for a newly formed group encompassing field leadership in Benetech’s Labs, Global Literacy, Human Rights, and Environment programs; strategy, partnership, and business planning for all of Benetech’s new and existing initiatives and products; as well as funder development, marketing, and communications. “We believe in the power of engagement to address critical areas of unmet need, and our approach to creating transformative new social enterprises and scaling established ones for greater impact reflect that,” notes Beaumon. “I am tremendously energized to work with the entire Benetech team, as well as our user and partner communities, to achieve our ambitious goals.”
Chief Operating Officer Mark Roberts, who joined Benetech in September 2014 as vice president of engineering, brings to his new role extensive experience as a senior executive with several high profile Silicon Valley companies. Roberts was senior vice president of engineering and operations at TiVo Inc., where he helped build the company’s business systems and infrastructure to launch, deliver, and scale highly successful products and services. He will leverage this experience in leading Benetech’s core new group encompassing engineering, product management, and operations, with a focus on implementation, innovation, and scale for Benetech’s operating social enterprises and products. “I am motivated to harness the power of technology as a force for good,” says Roberts. “At Benetech, we leverage the deep technical and operational skills of our team and the open source community to maximize results.”
Vice President Bui, who provides dedicated leadership for Benetech Labs, oversees its multipronged charge to prototype new social good technology applications, launch new products with the promise of great social impact, and ignite cross-sector collaboration on technology-for-good ventures. Bui’s promotion follows her successfully leading the Global Literacy Program’s work on new frontiers of education for students with disabilities, including accessible digital images, 3D printing, and accessible math.
The new appointments are key to Benetech’s next stage of growth as an unusually diverse and exciting organization. Women are a majority of Benetech’s senior leadership team and workforce. Benetech is now recruiting for a vice president of global literacy and a director of engineering, with a total of seven positions being opened shortly—roughly ten percent of its current team size. It is looking for talented individuals who are passionate about using technology to empower underprivileged communities.
Benetech is a Silicon Valley nonprofit technology company that provides software tools and services to address pressing social needs. Each of its program areas—Human Rights, Global Literacy, the Environment, and Benetech Labs—offers the greatest social impact on funds invested.
Social entrepreneur and MacArthur Fellow Jim Fruchterman created Benetech in 2000 and leads the organization as its CEO.
For more information, please visit Benetech.org.
Media inquiries: Noa Ronkin, Communications Manager, Benetech