Maelen was born and raised in the beautiful state of California. Studying International Economics at the University of California in San Diego sparked her passion for development. She still remembers the day in class when she learned about the different approaches to international development, particularly Muhammad Yunus’ pioneering work in microfinance. It quickly became clear that she wanted to be a part of it. After graduation, Maelen used her marketing chops to lead brand marketing at the largest youth development nonprofit in Silicon Valley, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. Curiosity then struck to see how nonprofits could drive greater impact by leveraging best practices from the private sector. Eager to learn more, Maelen switched gears and moved to Cisco to manage social media advertising, product placement, and major media partnerships. She is excited to blend her nonprofit and corporate experience to support social businesses that create economic growth and fulfill human needs.

Fellows Blog Posts by Maelen Haugen

Jan 12, 2017 KE Kenya

As a Kiva Fellow in Kenya, I have had the privilege to work with farmers from Kiva’s partner, Asante Foundation. It’s an exciting time right now, as farmers are harvesting their first ginger crop that they planted in April. One borrower I met was Juma, an experienced maize farmer and a father of three who took a risk this year to venture into ginger farming.    
Juma with his ginger harvest. Juma will use the income to buy land, build a house, and send his children to school.
Juma never thought he would be a... Continue Reading >>

Sep 12, 2016 KE Kenya

Clean energy is a huge need for rural farmers in Kenya. Only 23% of Kenyans are connected to the grid, leaving the majority of the country without access to electricity. And when 85% of the population lives in rural areas, creating that access is not an easy task. Kiva’s partner, Juhudi Kilimo is well known in Kenya for providing agricultural loans to lift rural farmers out of poverty, (such as loans to purchase dairy cows, chickens, and farming tools).  Although that is still at the core of what they do, they are now offering clean energy loans to farmers.With these... Continue Reading >>

Sep 5, 2016 GO Global Update

2016 can officially be crowned the Year of Nostalgia. The evidence is clear. This year, 20 years after opening their first case, Scully and Mulder have returned to help us answer the age old question- “Aliens or nah?”. Blink 182 transported us back to the years of our teenage angst with their new album that debuted at number one. And let’s not forget, Clinton is running for president… What year is it again?   Yet, the ‘90s movement that took the cake this year has to be Pokémon Go. Pokémon has swept the nation--no, the world-- with its new mobile game. As Kiva Fellows serving in... Continue Reading >>