Denver: We’re going to play Take Five with Geetha Murali, the CEO of Room to Read. Are you ready Geetha?

Geetha: I am ready.

Denver: What should we be worried about?

Geetha Murali

Geetha: We should be worried about children being illiterate longer than they have, and girls not being educated as quickly as they need to be.

Denver: What idea in philanthropy is ready for retirement?

Geetha: Keeping overhead ratios at single digits.

Denver: What is something you believe that other people think is just insane?

Geetha: It’s important to have fun at work as much as it is to work hard.

Denver: Name some organization or person that you have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for.

Geetha: Oprah Winfrey

Denver: What is a favorite part of your morning ritual?

Geetha: Meditating.

Denver: What is the most important thing that makes for a healthy organizational culture?

Geetha: Open communication.

Denver: What did you change your mind about in the last 10 years and why?

Geetha: My career… several times because I wanted to have an impact in the world; that’s why I’m at Room to Read.

Denver: When was the last time you were voluntarily disconnected from all your devices?

Geetha: When I was in the Amazon trekking and Ecuador.

Denver: If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?

Geetha: A bottle opener.

Denver: What do you wish more people would be open and honest about?

Geetha: Everything.

Denver: If you were to start your career all over again and do something completely different and away from this field, what would that be?

Geetha: Advertising.

Denver: What is your superpower?

Geetha: Seeing the future.

Denver: If you could have one gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?

Geetha: Time Square support Room to Read.

Denver: What is something, whether it’s related to your work or not, that you’re exceptionally excited about right now?

Geetha: I just turned 40 on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to the next 40 years of my life.

Denver: What are you reading now?

Geetha: Freakonomics.

Denver: What do you think about when you’re driving in the car alone?

Geetha: Usually about the to-do list for the day.

Denver: What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a Ted talk on something outside of your main area of expertise?

Geetha: The importance of joy.

Denver: What is something about you that very few other people know?

Geetha: That I danced for Aretha Franklin’s birthday party.

Denver: Given a choice of anyone famous in the world, dead or alive, that you could have come over to your house for dinner, who would you invite?

Geetha: Oprah Winfrey.

Denver: What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Geetha: You can do anything you want to do.

Denver: Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

Geetha: I do. Walt Disney. It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

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