Michelle is responsible for overseeing Kiva's expansion into new impact areas including clean energy, water and sanitation, innovative agriculture and higher education. As Kiva matures, these areas are increasingly relevant to Kiva's work as we focus on expanding our impact to include environmental sustainability and equal access to opportunity in addition to financial inclusion. Michelle began her career at Kiva in 2006 on the investments team, spending three years building Kiva's work in North, Central and South America. After that, she shifted her focus to West Africa and the Middle East, where she spent a few additional years building solid partnerships and an all-star regional team. In late 2011, she moved into her current role as the Director of Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining Kiva, Michelle founded a non-profit organization in Costa Rica, NatureKids, which is focused on English literacy and environmental sustainability in burgeoning tourist hubs. She also worked at various organizations dedicated to financial inclusion, including ACCION International. Michelle graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Economics.