Meet the 2015 Class of Accion Ambassadors

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It’s that time of the year again – we at Accion are so excited to welcome the 2015 class of Ambassadors to our Cambridge office next week for their official orientation! We’ve got a fantastic bunch of candidates this year who will be working on all kinds of assignments – ranging from impact studies to product development to marketing strategy and human resources – and much more.

Next week, they’ll learn all about what it takes to work as an Accion Ambassador on the front lines of financial inclusion, and (we hope!) have a bit of fun, too.

For now, meet our 2015 Accion Ambassadors, and follow their journeys as they document their experiences in the coming weeks!

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Nile Nahar-Brown

Nile hails from the West Coast U.S., and will be deploying to Lusaka, Zambia, to work with one of our fintech partners, Zoona, on the development of its marketing strategy. He comes to his Ambassadorship after working as an Account Director at Blue State Digital, and holds a degree from New York University. Read some of last year’s Ambassador blog posts from Zoona here.

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Kirsty Gray

Kirsty will also be working in Lusaka, Zambia with Zoona, but on an “insights and agent reactivation” project. Zoona works with agents across regions to help people send and receive money through digital technology, and so its agent network is a critical pillar of their business model. Kirsty is currently an MPA student at Columbia University, and holds a degree from the University of Cambridge.

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Javier Castro

Javier currently works at Accion as Assistant General Counsel in our legal department, and will be deploying to Akiba Commercial Bank, a microfinance institution and Accion partner in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Javier will be working with Akiba on the Smart Campaign, an effort to unite microfinance institutions worldwide around best practices in treatment of clients. For past Ambassador blog posts from Akiba, see here.

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Eric Zuehlke

Eric Zuehlke will also be deploying to Akiba in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, but will be working on website development. Eric currently works at Accion’s Center for Financial Inclusion as its Web and Communications Director, and has experience at the Population Reference Bureau and UNICEF. He holds an MA in International Affairs from the New School.

 

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Jackie Botchway

Jackie currently works out of Accion’s Ghana office in Accra as an associate in facilities management, and will be deploying to Lagos, Nigeria to work with Accion Microfinance Bank on procurement and an admin process mapping project. She holds a BS in Human Resource Management from Central University College in Accra. For past posts from Ambassadors deployed to Accion Microfinance Bank, see here.

Pablo Nunez

Pablo Nunez

Pablo comes to his ambassadorship with experience as CEO of a microfinance institution in Bolivia and a long history of working in banking in Latin America. He will be deploying to Swadhaar FinServe, an Accion partner and microfinance institution in Mumbai, India, where he’ll work on a Small and Medium Enterprise lending project. For past blog posts from Swadhaar, see here.


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Rathna Ramamurthi

Rathna will also be deploying to Swadhaar FinServe in Mumbai, but will be working on process improvements for a joint liability loan product. She comes to her ambassadorship as a Harvard Law School candidate, and has an MA in International Affairs.

 

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Mandana Nakhai

Mandana will be deploying to Accion’s India hub office in Bangalore to work on the adaption of client education materials for persons with disabilities, a huge population that makes up the financially underserved. She is a current candidate at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and has work experience at the Fulbright School Program and American Jewish Committee.

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Colin Walker

Colin currently works at Accion’s Cambridge headquarters as our Facilities Manager, and will also be deploying to Accion’s Bangalore hub office. He has experience working as a legal assistant as well as office manager at various companies, including Bain Capital.

 

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Brett Cooper

Brett comes to his ambassadorship as a manager of valuation services at an accounting firm, and has work experience as a financial consultant, and in forensic and financial services. He will also be deploying to Accion’s Bangalore office to work on an impact study and market research for our Dialogue on Business skills training program.

 

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Emma Kelsey

Emma is currently an MA candidate at Stanford University, holds a degree from Georgetown University, and has work experience at the U.S. State Department. She’ll be deploying to Bogota, Colombia to work on strategic planning for Accion’s activities in Latin America.

 

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Andrea Horak

Andrea currently works at Accion’s headquarters in Cambridge on our Training and Capacity Building team. She will be deploying to microfinance institution and Accion partner Banco Ademi in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where she’ll support efforts related to channels and technology. She holds a degree from Colgate University and has experience with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

 

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Jessica Lynn Wickman

Jessica also currently works at Accion’s Cambridge office on our Resource Development team. She’ll be deploying to microfinance institution and Accion partner Fundación Paraguaya in Asuncion, Paraguay, to work on various communications projects, and is coming into her ambassadorship with experience in fundraising, writing, and graphic design. She holds a degree from Emerson College. For past blog posts from Fundación Paraguaya, see here.


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Dennis van Erp

Dennis will also be deploying to Fundación Paraguaya in Asuncion, where he’ll work on developing a business plan for Fundación Paraguaya’s microlending program. He comes to his ambassadorship as a portfolio analyst at FMO, and has international experience in India, Spain, and the Netherlands.

 

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Mary Hansen

Mary currently works out of the Accion Cambridge headquarters in Human Resources, and will be traveling to Beijing, China, to work with Accion partner Grassland Finance on human resources projects. She comes to her ambassadorship with experience as a Peace Corps Health Advisor in Malawi and a degree from Mount Holyoke College. For past blog posts from China, see here.

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