Erin grew up in California and now lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and 6-year old boxer/lab mix. For the past 10 years she has worked for The Lemelson Foundation, including four years in grants management and, most recently, six years as a Program Officer. Lemelson is a private family foundation that supports the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises in order to promote US economic growth and improve lives in developing countries. In her role as Program Officer, Erin managed partnerships focused on developing low-cost technologies that solve global problems and built a portfolio of national and international grants to support the education of young inventors. She has deeply valued working with passionate innovators and social entrepreneurs who are improving the quality of life globally, and looks forward to continuing to work with those who are solving the world’s hardest problems. Erin previously worked in marketing communications and earned an MS in Management Communication from University of Portland and a BA in English from Santa Clara University. She is thrilled to be working as a Kiva Fellow for the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise in Washington, DC and with their partners around the world.

Fellows Blog Posts by Erin Tochen

May 4, 2015 AF Afghanistan

I recently had the pleasure to speak with Rangina, a current Kiva borrower and the founder of Kandahar Treasure, an artisan organization established in 2003 and based in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Rangina is a member of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise (, a Kiva Field Partner which works with artisan groups globally to help them access needed financing and grow their businesses.
Rangina, founder of Kandahar Treasure
Kandahar Treasure provides work to over 400 women in Kandahar... Continue Reading >>