Denver: We are going to play Take Five with Michelle Brown, the CEO of CommonLit. Are you ready, Michelle?

Michelle Brown

Michelle: I’m ready.

Denver: What is one of your favorite movies or documentaries?

Michelle: Life is Beautiful.

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

Michelle: I really want to move to Pittsburgh.

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

Michelle: Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO of Teach for America.

Denver: What idea in philanthropy is ready for retirement?

Michelle: A new strategy every quarter.

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

Michelle: A knife. Sharp.

Denver: What is your superpower?

Michelle: I know how to teach students how to read and write.

Denver: What is something, whether this is related to your work or not, that you were exceptionally excited about right now?

Michelle: I feel like my organization is at an inflection point, so that’s the easy answer. But the other thing is I just had a baby ,and James is one. He just started school, and he can now say “ball.” 

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

Michelle: I don’t know if this counts, but I would say organizational management.

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

Michelle: I speak fluent Spanish, and I’m part Cuban.

Denver: Given the choice of anyone famous in the world, dead or alive, that you could invite over for dinner, who would that be?

Michelle: Melinda Gates.

Denver: What is the best constructive criticism you have ever received?

Michelle: That I have to find my own leadership style, and I can’t emulate someone else’s.

Denver: And finally, do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

Michelle: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Denver: Thank you very much, Michelle.

Michelle: Thanks, Denver.

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