May 14, 2009
By JD Bergeron
Major Changes to the Kiva Fellows Program
As you may have noticed, Kiva is growing! In order to keep up with the rapid change of pace, the Kiva Fellows Program has made some adjustments. 

Effective Wednesday, the Kiva Fellows Program has a new online application, which you can see here: http://www.kiva.org/about/fellowsapply/. The new format does a better job of emphasizing the traits, skills and experiences which make for successful fellowships. These include a clear motivation statement, extensive independent travel experience, language proficiency appropriate to a country in which Kiva works, a facility with technology and the ability to work with a variety of new media tools such as video, photography and blogging. 

We have also revamped the program calendar, allowing for three training sessions and six different departure dates. Kiva Fellows will now be able to choose to depart for the field during the first week of February, April, June, August, October or December. These changes will allow Kiva more quickly to meet the needs of both new and longstanding field partners. In addition, we will be looking especially for those who can do more than one placement in the field. 



Look for more updates next week as Kiva welcomes its eighth class of Kiva Fellow trainees ("KF8") to San Francisco. Alison, Andrew, Athan, Cameron, Courtney, Dave, Emmanuel, Hanh, Jaclyn, Joel, Julia, Laura, Lee, Merrick, Michael, Nancy, Nilima, Polly, Robert, Shereef, Sloane, Susan, Suzy, Tamara, Velizara and Zev--we can't wait to meet you!

Many thanks to our stellar CTO Sam Mankiewicz and the entire ridiculously talented team of the Kiva Fellows Program: Zack, Analisa, Cissy, Lauren, Trevor, Reggie, Miriam and Lyz.

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JD is responsible for ensuring that Kiva maintains and grows its core commitment to the disadvantaged beneficiary of its internet platform. He leads the development and execution of Kiva's social performance strategy, which entails measuring, providing judgment on and communicating the social performance of Kiva's operations including its MFI Field Partners and new product initiatives. After growing the Kiva Fellows Program into a critical contributor to Kiva's success and one of the largest and most sought after networks of microfinance volunteers in the world, he gladly accepted the challenge of developing the social performance practice at Kiva. JD brings over fourteen years of leadership and program development experience both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to Kiva, he built robust systems to achieve $3M as Director of Resource Development at ACCION International, served with the U.S. Peace Corps in a poor, rural region of Bulgaria, and held senior roles at a variety of early stage companies during periods of rapid growth. JD holds a BA in Russian Language and Comparative Literature from Washington University in Saint Louis.

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