Michelle Brown

Founder, CommonLit

Michelle is the founder and CEO of CommonLit, an award-winning nonprofit education technology organization dedicated to improving adolescent literacy rates. Under Michelle’s leadership, CommonLit has become a robust online educational reading solution that has grown to serve 34,000 schools across the nation in under one year.

Michelle holds a B.A. in English Literature and Spanish from Butler University, and a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is an experienced classroom teacher who has taught in urban and rural environments, and at the university level as a professor of Spanish. As a 7th grade English teacher at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School (Uncommon Schools), Michelle redesigned the existing reading curriculum and her students exceeded the state average in reading by nine percentage points.

Today, CommonLit's free reading platform serves over 2.3 million people. The organization has received grants and innovation awards from The Library of Congress, The American Association of School Librarians, Teach for America, AT&T Aspire, Fast Forward, Google.org, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Michelle was a finalist for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Change the World Competition and was on the shortlist of Washington Life Magazine’s “2015 Tech 25.” Most recently, CommonLit was featured in TechCrunch (September 2016) for winning a $3.9 million grant from the Department of Education for Innovative Approaches to Literacy. In her spare time, Michelle coaches early-stage entrepreneurs and blogs about leading a fast-growing tech company at Women@Forbes.