With heavy hearts, the Kiva community is both mourning and celebrating a special soul who brought light and laughter to all our lives. Paul Lambert, a native of Northern Ireland and a beloved Kiva employee, was struck and killed in a suspected hit-and-run in San Francisco on February 12.

Paul touched the lives of Kiva staff, volunteers and borrowers alike. As a Volunteer Coordinator for Kiva’s Review and Translation Program, he helped spearhead the herculean efforts of the more than 350 volunteers who translate and review Kiva loans for the website.

Kiva staff, volunteers and friends gathered for a memorial to celebrate Paul's life.

Paul coordinated seven Russian, French and Spanish translation teams. He was also responsible for overseeing all Russian and French loans, as well as training all Russian and French translators.

Paul’s outgoing, jovial nature made him perfect for the job, and he created strong bonds with many of his volunteers. Paul’s family has received an outpouring of support from this global community following the news of his death.

Kiva’s community of volunteers have organized a drive to translate as many loans in Paul’s name as possible. They have also created a lending team in his honor>

Paul loved languages, and spoke four of them: English, French, Spanish and Russian. But even more impressive than his linguistic skills or the impact of his work, was his truly genuine and caring personality. It is hard to think of Paul without immediately thinking of his smile and his laugh.

We cherish every moment we were blessed to have with him, and feel a deep loss for the moments that were still to come. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

About the author

Giovanna Masci

Giovanna is responsible for overseeing Kiva's partnerships and regional teams throughout the world. As the Vice President for Global Partnerships she helps to develop Kiva's strategy for growth and expansion with field partners. Giovanna joined Kiva in 2008 as a Partnerships Manager for Central and North America. In particular, Giovanna was responsible for driving Kiva's entry into the US microfinance market in 2009. She then moved on to become the Regional Director for the Americas where she managed the team and portfolio of the region and directed Kiva's strategy in that market. Prior to Kiva, Giovanna worked as a consultant in the technical assistance department at ACCION New York. In that role she was responsible for growing the department while providing one-on-one technical assistance services to entrepreneurs. Giovanna has been passionate about economic development, microfinance, and Latin America for many years. She has worked on community development projects in Mexico and Paraguay, and has done research on the interplay between eco-tourism and economic development in Costa Rica. Giovanna holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.B.A from the Yale School of Management.