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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > U.S. National Commission for UNESCO > Members > Members and Organizations

Benita Somerfield

Benita Somerfield is the Executive Director of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She also serves as an advisor to Reach Out and Read, and in 2004 was named an International Literacy Resource Person for UNESCO’s Decade of Literacy.

Prior to this, she held the job of Senior Vice President of Communications at SIMON & Schuster, where she had also been President of WorkPlace Resources, and President of Cambridge Book Company. Earlier she held the job of Vice-President and Associate Publisher at Contemporary Books.

Her literacy work began at the MANPOWER Development Training PROGRAM, followed by teaching and supervisory positions at the City University of New York and Model Cities Administration. She also designed and directed training programs for Consolidated Edison and the New York City Chamber of Commerce. Later she served as Special Advisor in Adult Literacy at the U.S. Department of Education, and was named one of the 10 members of the Presidentially-appointed Board for the National Institute for Literacy.

She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the SUNY-Binghamton and an M.A. from nyu in Educational Psychology/ Remedial Reading, as well as a Certificat des Etudes from the University of Marseilles. She currently lives in New York.


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