Leadership

National Center Leadership

Brian Gallagher, MPA

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Brian Gallagher leads the Reach Out and Read network, including more than 6,400 program sites in all 50 states and nearly 30 regional, state, and local affiliates. Brian, who has been with Reach Out and Read since 2007, previously served as the organization’s Director of National Programs, providing strategic leadership to all aspects of organization’s national programmatic activity, including program metrics, medical provider training and professional development, quality assurance and improvement, and special initiatives. He spearheaded national efforts to increase the number of children served and the number of healthcare providers who participate in Reach Out and Read, resulting in a significant increase in organizational capacity from 3,700 programs to more than 5,400. In collaboration with partners nationwide, Brian led a strategy to build a strong foundation for numerous new state and regional affiliates to increase capacity to serve even more children living in low-income communities. Brian previously worked as a Policy and Program Manager for the Boston Private Industry Council, a workforce development organization with a special focus on designing and implementing school-to-career programs. He holds an MPA from Suffolk University and a BA from Hamilton College.

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Perri Klass, MD, FAAP

National Medical Director

Perri Klass led the National Center from 1993 to 2006, during which time Reach Out and Read grew from a single program into a national network of more than 3,000 program sites. She is a professor of journalism and pediatrics at New York University, where she works in the pediatric clinic at Bellevue Hospital, and where she is currently the Director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Perri received her MD from Harvard University and completed her training in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, and in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital. She received the 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics Education Award for her work with Reach Out and Read, and the 2011 Alvarez Award from the American Medical Writers Association. She writes frequently about children’s issues, including the weekly “The Checkup” column for the New York Times.

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Nikki Shearman, PhD

Chief of Strategic Initiatives

Nikki Shearman is responsible for guiding the strategic planning process to build out Reach Out and Read’s strategic road map, Next Chapter, and for taking the lead in implementing the plan around Reach Out and Read’s leadership role in shaping pediatric primary care to promote nurturing family-child relationships. She also coordinates the strategy for research and evaluation that demonstrates Reach Out and Read’s impact. Nikki brings a combined experience of research, operational strategy and communications to this position, starting with 10 years’ experience in medical research in laboratories in the UK, Japan and Germany, and publication of her work in international journals. Subsequently, Shearman has worked within the management of a variety of non-profit organizations in the UK and the US. Shearman earned her Ph.D. in cancer research from the University of Southampton, UK.

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Lambrina Kless, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer of Reach Out and Read, Lambrina Kless leads the national network in developing and refining the systems and processes needed to drive programmatic excellence. Lambrina brings extensive leadership, program strategy and design experience with national organizations, most recently as Chief Program Officer for the National Center for Teacher Residencies, and National Director of Learning and Innovation at Teach Plus. Lambrina completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, and her PhD in Administration and Policy Analysis, with a minor in Quantitative Methods, from Stanford University.

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Edward M. Mulherin, CPA, Esq.

Chief Financial Officer

Certified Public Accountant, Ed Mulherin oversees the financial health and growth of the Reach Out and Read organization as its Chief Financial Officer. As a consultant for the past 30 years, Ed has worked with numerous nonprofits building practical experience in finance and the fiduciary responsibility to funders. Ed graduated magna cum laude from Boston College and is a cum laude graduate from Suffolk University Law School. In addition, Ed is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and the Massachusetts Society of CPAs.

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Brian Gallagher, MPA

Chief Executive Officer

Perri Klass, MD, FAAP

National Medical Director

Nikki Shearman, PhD

Chief of Strategic Initiatives

Lambrina Kless, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Edward M. Mulherin, CPA, Esq.

Chief Financial Officer

Affiliate Leadership
Callee Boulware, MBA

Executive Director, Carolinas

Callee Boulware has been the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Carolinas since 2001. She leads a staff of 15 committed team members, and works with the ROR Carolinas Advisory Board and local, state, and regional partners. Over the past 18 years, the RORC team has expanded its reach to more than 525 clinical locations across the region.

Callee received her Master’s in Business Administration from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and is deeply committed to making Reach Out and Read a strong, sustainable reality for all children across the Carolinas. Callee is also a member of Leadership NC Class XXIV, an Advisory Board member of Capita, and a Riley Institute DLI graduate.

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Kim Byam

Executive Director, New Jersey

Kim Byam has been the Executive Director of Reach Out New Jersey since 2009, leading its fundraising and strategic initiatives. As a dedicated advocate of Reach Out and Read’s vision, Kim champions programs that improve cognitive and social-emotional well-being for all children, particularly those growing up in low-income communities and facing systemic barriers.

Kim has extensive and varied experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Kim served as Director of the Annual Fund for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and Assistant Director of Development for Project Bread, an anti-hunger organization located in Boston.

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Alexander Chu, MBA

Executive Director, Northeast

Alexander (Alex) Chu currently serves as the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Northeast Region. With more than 20 years’ experience in strategic planning, youth development, finance, operations, and program evaluation, Alex’s priority for the Northeast is to enhance the educational and social impact of our programs for a diverse client base.

Alex’s experience extends across the non-profit Human Services and Education sectors, where he has led efforts to support behavioral health providers in profitability and market positioning; led time-study efforts to support organizations in better understanding their outcomes and services; advised public and private school districts on revenue enhancements and philanthropic support; and conducted reviews of data systems and capacity building opportunities for agencies supporting adoptive families. Prior to Reach Out and Read, Alex worked for Public Consulting Group, Thompson Island Outward Bound, and the YMCA. He serves on the boards of multiple non-profit and public agencies including as Chair of the Board for the Boston Green Academy 6-12 Horace Mann Charter School, and as Secretary for Camp Starfish, a summer camp for youth with developmental disabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College, and a Master’s in Business Administration in Public and Non-Profit Management from Boston University.

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Amy Erickson

Regional Executive Director, Georgia

Amy Erickson serves as the Regional Executive Director for Reach Out and Read Georgia and is responsible for leadership and oversight of the organization as well as its administration, operations, programming, sustainability, and strategic plan. Other key duties include development and fundraising activities, relationship management, marketing, community outreach, and employment-related leadership. Her innovative approach to engaging with more than 1,200 pediatricians, medical providers and employees has led to optimal scaling of growth with fidelity and a deep commitment to improving outcomes for the most vulnerable populations.

Amy has 24 years of experience working in the private sector for leading national education, digital, and entrepreneurial companies. She has been a member of the Junior League for 31 years and is a current sustaining member of the Junior League of Atlanta. She is a founding Board member of the National Charity League, Northeast Atlanta Chapter, and founding member of the Young Men’s Service League, Northeast Atlanta Chapter.

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Anita Baker

Director of Greater Philadelphia

Anita Baker joined the Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia team in February 2019. She leads the continued development in Greater Philadelphia while cultivating meaningful public and private partnerships.

Prior to joining Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia, Anita was Manager of Partnerships and Development for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation; President and Owner of 1219 Marketing/Creative Outlet Media Group; Vice President of Action Enterprises; and Sales Executive for WSLT/WIBG. She is a recipient of the Seven Seals Award, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award, and the Devereux NJ Leadership Award.

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Samira Godil

Executive Director, Oregon

Samira Godil became Reach Out and Read Oregon’s Executive Director in January. She is passionate about leading the program that provides the Reach Out and Read model to 86,000 children and families statewide each year, in support the health and well-being of Oregonians.

Samira has nearly 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience. Prior to joining ROR Oregon, she advocated for the Portland metro area’s low-income and uninsured populations as Executive Director of South West Community Health Center, which she founded in 2002 to provide low-cost, exceptional healthcare to those unable to access medical coverage because of income, employment, or immigration status. She also serves on several local boards and has been instrumental in developing and implementing the City of Beaverton’s Diversity and Inclusion plan.

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Lori Lake, M.Ed

Executive Director, Oklahoma

Lori Lake serves as the Executive Director for Oklahoma and provides oversight of the state program including training, programmatic support, and technical assistance to medical practitioners, as well as evaluation of programs and development of quality improvement plans. Loris is also responsible for recruitment of new providers and healthcare facilities and the necessary development support to sustain and expand Reach Out and Read within Oklahoma, as well as forming partnerships and creating new initiatives with state agencies, foundations, and corporations. Under her leadership, the number of participating sites in Oklahoma has increased by 146%; therefore, resulting in significantly more children and families served.

Lori joined the non-profit world after a 32-year career in the public education system. With a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Education, she served as a special education teacher, reading interventionist, consulting teacher, and instructional/literacy coach. She has extensive experience in the areas of literacy, academic assessment, educational advocacy, teacher-training, professional development, and the creation/development of new educational programs. During her tenure in the public-school system, she was honored as a Council for Learning Disabilities Teacher of the Year and was the recipient of both the Hospital Corporation of America Teacher Award and the Frist Teacher Award.

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Jessica Mortensen, MLIS

Executive Director, Washington

Jessica Mortensen has served as the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Washington since 2018. In that role, she directs strategy of the ROR program in Washington and supports healthcare professional practice change, cultivates relationships and partnerships, and build high-performing teams. She has overseen the expansion of ROR in Washington from 100 programs serving 60,000 families annually to more than 240 sites serving over 135,000 families each year.

Mortensen previously served as ROR Washington’s Program Director from 2010-2015 and as Deputy Director from 2015-2017. She has played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of a program quality evaluation and improvement system that was adopted naturally. Mortensen completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington and her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Art History at Whitman College.

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Callee Boulware, MBA

Executive Director, Carolinas

Kim Byam

Executive Director, New Jersey

Alexander Chu, MBA

Executive Director, Northeast

Amy Erickson

Regional Executive Director, Georgia

Anita Baker

Director of Greater Philadelphia

Samira Godil

Executive Director, Oregon

Lori Lake, M.Ed

Executive Director, Oklahoma

Jessica Mortensen, MLIS

Executive Director, Washington