Friday, January 25, 2013

38 Kiva Fellows head out around the world!

After an intensive 5-day training course here at Kiva HQ, our 20th class of Kiva Fellows is heading out into the field!

Altogether, 26 Fellows are traveling to our partner organizations in 31 countries on 5 continents around the world. On top of that, 12 Fellows from the previous classes are heading to new assignments to keep Kiva running smoothly.

For the next 4 months, they'll work closely with our partners to support their operations, improve the Kiva lending experience, and help us reach more borrowers. They're truly on the frontier of Kiva to innovate, expand, develop and deepen our connections to the field.

And they couldn't be better prepared. Our intensive training armed them with the knowledge and objectives to make a real difference. And each Fellow is pursuing their own project to fuel Kiva's mission and develop impactful loan products tailored to borrowers' needs.

Building on the successes of the 486 Fellows before them, this new class of Kiva Fellows will draw on considerable experience and talent to expand the reach of microfinance. We can't wait to hear and read all about their adventures on the Fellows Blog.

QUICK PLUG: Applications for the next class of Kiva Fellows are now being accepted and are due SUNDAY, JANUARY 27. Apply here. As you see below, you'd be in incredible company.

Meet our amazing 20th class of Kiva Fellows!

Amy Barth – Roaming Nairobi 

A Wesleyan graduate, Amy works at Google on the politics and issue advocacy team, which takes her to D.C. every few weeks. But past experience volunteering after the Tsunami in Thailand inspired her to work internationally in social enterprise. She'll be working with great social impact partners like Sanergy.

Davinia Cogan – HUMO & IMON International, Tajikistan 

After 4 years working in investment management in Australia, Davinia spent time living around the world in Sydney, Paris, Kampala and London. She decided to put her finance skills to good use in Uganda training social entrepreneurs and farmers. She has also worked with USAID in Rwanda on microfinance programs for coffee growers. She studied international business and finance at the University of Sydney and has her master's in international relations.

Dimitri Zakharov – Roaming Azerbaijan 

Born in Moscow, Dmitri graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business and worked at S&P Capital IQ, a financial technology company in New York. On the nonprofit side, he served as director of fundraising and administration for the Shanti Bhavan Children's Project in Bangalore, India. In Azerbaijan, he will be working with socially-driven partners like Aqroinvest.

Duda Carsoso – Kiva Zip, Kenya 

Duda was exposed to financial disparities at a young age growing up in Brazil. She moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Notre Dame, after which she spent time teaching third grade in Ghana and consulting for a financial services firm. After working for Habitat for Humanity in Alaska, she decided to apply her business skills to doing good.

Esther Honig – Fondo Esperanza, Chile 

Esther is already a Kiva alum, having interned in the Public Relations department. She recently graduated from Mills college with degrees in Spanish and journalism, and is excited to contribute remarkable stories of Kiva borrowers she meets in person before launching a career in journalism.

Felipe Moreno – Kiva Zip, Kenya 

Born and raised in Colombia, Felipe earned his degree in business administration from the University of Salamanca. After that, he worked for a bank in Spain at the height of the country's financial crisis, participated in several entrepreneurship projects in the Netherlands, and volunteered as an English teacher at a monastery in Nepal. His life goal is to become a mass recruiter of social entrepreneurs, starting with a fellowship with Kiva Zip.

Fred-√©ric Bergheimer – CAURIE, Senegal 

Born is Paris and raised in Benin, Fred has degrees in management, sustainable development and law. Since then, he's worked as a project manager for an insurance company, overseeing its sustainable development strategy, and is excited to learn even more as a Kiva Fellow.

Jada Tullos Anderson – KADET, Kenya 

A graduate of Texas A&M, Jada worked for John Deere and volunteered for the Red Cross for several years. After earning her master's in environmental management from Duke University, she's excited to apply her analytical skills to explore and develop financing opportunities for farming and off-grid energy solutions.

Jeffrey Nelson – Friendship Bridge & ADICLA, Guatemala 

After graduating from Wheaton College, Jeff created financial literacy curriculums for inner-city high schools and served as a program strategic for FundaVida, an NGO based in Costa Rica. Most recently, he worked on an environmental conservation campaign with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Jonathan Fung – SEDA, Vietnam 

After graduated from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, Jon traveled through Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, and South America. He currently works in the advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, supporting organizations in program development, performance improvement and project management.

Katie Krummel – Roaming Uganda 

Katie majored in business administration and finance at USC with an emphasis in international relations. After graduating, she worked as a financial statistician for Capital Group Companies in emerging markets and debt strategy. She's interested in sustainable development and deploying new technology to promote financial inclusion. She's be working with great partners like BRAC Uganda.

Leo Della-Moretta – Roaming Ecuador 

A former captain in the U.S. Army, Leo has lived in ten countries on four continents. He is a veteran of the warns in Iraq and Afghanistan and also served as a peacekeeper with the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt. He's interested in how access to capital can improve economic security around the world. He graduated from the University of Kansas where he studied political science and international relations.

Liz Vidyarthi –Media Fellow, East Africa 

As Kiva's first ever Media Fellow, Liz is charged with collecting video and photography content showcasing many Kiva partners' amazing work throughout East Africa. She currently works as communications director for TNTP, a national education nonprofit, but has spent the last ten years helping organizations tell compelling stories. She is a graduate of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and the London School of Economics.

Louise Ronnerdahl – Urwego, Rwanda 

A native of Stockholm Sweden, Louise studied international business at the University of Stockholm before starting a career in management consulting and investment banking in London. In particular, she has been helping clients respond to the challenges of sustainable transformation. Today, she is based in Nairobi helping countries generate youth employment and bring entrepreneurship to vulnerable communities.

Mario Ariza – Vision Finance Company & Amasezerano, Rwanda 

After spending his teenage years in Ghana and Egypt, Mario went to college in Virginia. Most recently, he has been working at an investment bank back in Ghana, where he implemented a pension fund for fishermen. He is interested in learning more about market-based solutions to economic development.

Matt Bastone – Nicaragua

A graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Matt worked as a CPA with Deloitte serving clients in a wide variety of industries, and developing expertise in forecasting, modeling, strategic planning and process implementation. After his fellowship, he is interested in starting a career in microfinance.

Meagan Sutton – South Pacific Business Development, Samoa 

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Meagan worked in applied anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago and later got her master's in international studies at DePaul. For her thesis, she lived in northern India and interviewed Tibetan refugees. Since then, she has worked in human rights and international development, and currently supports business development for one of the largest fuel-efficient cookstove enterprises in West Africa.

Michelle Schenck – Maharishi Institute & Zoona, South Africa & Zambia 

After earning degrees in zoology and conservation biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michelle volunteered with the Jane Goodall institute in Uganda and conduct research in Gabon. She went back for her master's degree in geography and African studies, and has spent the four years since working in financial operations and compliance.

Paul Ricketts – Roaming Mexico 

Paul has traveled extensively, working and studying in Beijing and Paris, and spending a lot of time in Peru. He graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's in international relations before spending three years at a high-growth professional services startup. He's interested in the power of technology to create social mobility and a level playing field. He'll be working with partners like biodigester company Sistema Biobolsa and accounting software maker Frogtek.

Precy Kwan – BRAC Sierra Leone & BRAC Liberia, Sierra Leone & Liberia 

Precy has worked for KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she acquired expertise in financial auditing and risk management. While pursuing her degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario, she studied in both Cuba and Brazil. Passionate about poverty alleviation, she hopes to gain a better understanding of how the financial sector can improve people's lives.

Rachel Lewis – KosInvest, Kosovo & Albania 

After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in international relations, she worked in the retirement plan division for a mutual fund specializing in Islamic investing. She has spent the bulk of her career promoting financial literacy and helping people and businesses navigate the complex landscape of retirement savings. She is currently earning her MBA.

Rick Beck – Tuba Rai Metin & Tanaoba Lais Manekat, East Timor & Indonesia 

While working in the design and manufacture of electrical distribution equipment, Rick has traveled to more than 100 countries. Most recently, he solo-cycled 4,300 kilometers from Malta to Dublin. He has had a great time working within different cultures and is looking forward to applying his managerial skills to assisting Kiva partners in this post-conflict region.

Rob Rout – Fundacion Paraguaya, Paraguay 

Growing up in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean cultures, Rob earned his degree in romance languages and his MBA. He has worked in marketing intelligence at several large multinational technology companies. Now he is interested in giving back through a new career in the nonprofit sector.

Stasi Baranoff – WSDS, India 

With a degree in global studies from UCLA, Stasi traveled throughout Southeast Asia and North Africa with Semester at Sea. Since graduating, she followed her passion to Buenos Aires where she worked with a local NGO to fight human rights abuses within the prison system. She is very interested in promoting sustainable change to improve lives in developing communities. She recently completed her master's in international relations in London, publishing a dissertation on microfinance and women's empowerment.

Sulin Lau – Kiva Zip, United States (New York City) 

Sulin comes from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She worked for 10 years in advertising brand management, and for the last three for a leading telecom company in e-commerce, social media, market research and customer experience. She is especially interested in how mass-adoption of technology is changing the way people behave and interact with brands around the world.

Taylor Whitfield – Kiva Zip, United States (Washington D.C.)

Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Taylor studied abroad during college in Ghana, where she also volunteered at an NGO for street girls. She also met a widowed woman and launched a fundraising campaign to build her family a house. Since then, she has traveled through Colombia, Ethiopia and Turkey. Most recently, she has been working at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco and a local free clinic.

And an extra-special thank you to our returning fellows (read all about them here):

Abhi Adhikari – Hope Ukraine & ACM, Ukraine
Anna Forsberg – Kiva Zip, United State (Minneapolis)
Eduarda Carmo Vaz – Hluvuku, Mozambique
Eileen Flannigan – Kiva Zip, Kenya
Irene Fung – VisionFund Indonesia & YSBS, Indonesia
Jame Imai – Roaming Mongolia
Juan Barbed – ID Ghana & WAGES, Ghana & Togo
Katrina Shakarian – Kiva Zip, Kenya
Rachel Davis – Kiva Zip, Kenya
Rose Larsen – ASPIRE & FUNDAPEC, Dominican Republic
Shy Jamal – Kiva Zip, Kenya
Taline Khansa – Ameen & SMT, Lebanon & Sierra Leone

To learn more about the Kiva Fellows Program, please visit our information page. We're currently accepting applications for the 21st class of Fellows, who will begin their fellowships in June 2013.

Apply today! The deadline is THIS SUNDAY, January 27.