Leadership team

Premal Shah

Premal Shah, President & Co-Founder

Premal co-founded Kiva in 2005, and has worked to promote Kiva’s mission and reach more communities around the world for more than a decade.

Premal’s inspiration for Kiva came during a 2-month volunteer trip he took to India in 2004. During his trip he worked with low-income women to help them sell handcrafts online. While the project had mixed results, it strengthened his belief that the right combination of technology, business and love can create access to opportunity for those who need it most.

Prior to Kiva, Premal worked at PayPal for 6 years as Principal Product Manager during the company’s early years. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and to FORTUNE magazine’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ list for his work as a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Kiva. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

Chelsa Bocci

Chelsa Bocci, VP Marketing & Community

Chelsa was part of the original founding team of 4 who conceptualized the Kiva platform and helped launch it publicly in 2005. She now leads Kiva's marketing and community teams, developing strategy for brand management, online marketing, and community engagement and support.

Chelsa helped establish Kiva's global partnerships program in the early years of Kiva and managed many of the relationships with Kiva's Field Partners, primarily in Africa. She also oversaw Kiva's microfinance operations programs and expansive Fellows Program. Prior to Kiva, Chelsa was a Corporate Recruiter and Immigration Specialist with Barclays Global Investors.

Chelsa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University.

Austin Choi

Austin Choi, General Counsel

Austin has served as Kiva's General Counsel since 2008 and is responsible for legal matters across Kiva's operations. He oversees the negotiation of agreements with Kiva's microfinance Field Partners, corporate supporters and donors, manages the organization's regulatory compliance across multiple jurisdictions, and advises the Board of Directors on governance matters.

Austin came to Kiva with more than 10 years of legal experience working with global technology companies. He previously held positions in the legal departments of ArcSight, InVision Technologies/GE InVision and the law firm of Fenwick & West LLP. He also served as a judicial law clerk at the U.S. Court of International Trade. Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard College, where he studied economic development issues, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Lisa Hogen

Lisa Hogen, Chief Development Officer

Lisa leads Kiva's fundraising and communications teams. She works to develop unique partnerships with corporations and foundations to engage consumers and employees in lending on Kiva.

Lisa joined Kiva in 2010, and has more than 20 years of fundraising experience working for national and international nonprofits. Most recently, she was the Chief Development Officer at Room to Read, overseeing a global team responsible for raising $30 million each year, and managing global marketing and press relations.

Lisa also worked as the Director of Development for The Food Project, and served as a Major Gifts Officer for The Nature Conservancy. She holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from Tufts University.

Cher Jacques

Cher Jacques, VP of Global Partnerships

Cher oversees Kiva's global portfolio and is responsible for developing global strategy, expansion and overseeing partner operations in more than 80 countries. She manages a diverse portfolio of investments ranging from financial inclusion, to agriculture and education. 

Cher joined Kiva in 2011 as Africa Regional Director. Previously, she worked with the Grameen Foundation, honing outreach in sub-Saharan Africa. She also managed the launch of a bank branch in the Democratic Republic of Congo for FINCA International, where she was responsible for initial operations, strategy and expansion. 

Cher sits on the board of African Entrepreneur Collective, a collection of accelerators across Africa. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Studies from Wake Forest University, and an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management.

Sonali Kothari

Sonali Kothari, Chief Operating Officer

Sonali is responsible for driving impact and growth across Kiva’s product management, strategic planning, analytics and people functions. She particularly enjoys enabling collaboration and creativity across teams.

Sonali came to Kiva in 2011, with 8 years of product management experience. She built her product and operations experience at Say Media, Google, Accenture and Autobytel. Most recently, Sonali was the Director of Product Management at Transpera, a mobile video advertising company. She is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

Sonali graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed her M.B.A. at University of California, Los Angeles.

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien, Chief Technology Officer

Kevin sets the technological vision for the engineering organization and works to leverage the resources and software available to help Kiva operate and scale. His primary responsibility is ensuring that the Kiva platform runs perfectly behind the scenes so that lenders and borrowers across the world can benefit from and delight in the Kiva experience without worrying about the technology that drives it.

Kevin joined Kiva in 2011 to enable global opportunity via technology. Earlier in his career, Kevin served with AmeriCorps, developed services architectures at San Francisco State University, maintained satellite receivers and systems for California Maritime Academy, and worked to save the desert tortoise for Student Conservation Association. He studied Computer Programming at Daytona State College and holds a degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University. He is a member of CTOs for Good.

Jonny Price

Jonny Price, Senior Director of Kiva U.S.

Jonny leads Kiva’s work to reach financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs in the United States with 0% interest loans.

He first came to Kiva in 2009 as a volunteer on a 5-month externship from his management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. After 6 years with Oliver Wyman in London and San Francisco, he joined Kiva full-time in 2011 to lead the direct loan pilot project Kiva Zip.

Jonny graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Cambridge.

Chad Sterbenz

Chad Sterbenz, Senior Director, Risk Management

Chad oversees risk and credit management at Kiva, monitoring the lending programs, providing advice and mentorship on credit processes, and furthering the organization's understanding and communication of diverse risk topics.

Chad joined Kiva in 2013, and has more than 10 years of experience in risk, credit, and portfolio management working for nonprofit impact investors. Previously, he lived and worked in Vietnam and Peru managing small business investment funds.

Chad graduated with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology from Bowdoin College and completed a master's degree in International Development at American University. He also served in the Peace Corps, teaching social sciences at a university in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

Radhika Warrier

Radhika Warrier, Senior Manager, People, Culture & HR

Radhika heads People Operations at Kiva. She is responsible for global talent management, compensation and benefits, diversity and inclusion and performance management. Prior to joining Kiva in 2013, Radhika has worked in a number of global HR and Organization Development roles at Nuru International, American Red Cross, Convergys Corporation and the Godrej group. In addition, she has volunteered for Ten Thousand Villages, Atlas Services Corps and Project Read.

Radhika earned a Masters in Organization Development from Bowling Green State University, an MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, India. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).

Si White

Si White, Chief Financial Officer

Si joined Kiva in 2015 and is responsible for Kiva’s financial reporting and oversight.

He has been working in the microfinance arena for the last 10 years, first as the CFO of the Grameen Foundation and then on the foundation’s Board of Directors. Si worked and lived internationally in a variety of global financial leadership roles with several Fortune 100 companies, including PepsiCo, Nestle and Cisco, and most recently as SVP, Global Finance at International Game Technology.

Si is a board member of Save the Bay in San Francisco and a member of the Audit Committee of Juhudi Kilimo, a Micro Finance Institution in Kenya. Si is a CPA and holds a degree in Business from California State University, Northridge.

Board of Directors

All board members, except Kiva's CEO and President, are independent voting members.

Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board, Kiva

Julie Hanna is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor working with purpose-driven, technology companies to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. In 2015, President Obama appointed her Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Serving in roles that ranged from founding executive to founder and CEO, Hanna has pioneered products and led companies that have allowed millions of people to connect, communicate and collaborate globally. Among them, Healtheon (now WebMD), onebox.com (now Unwired Planet), Portola (acquired by Netscape) and open source pioneer, Scalix.  

Hanna is an internationally acclaimed speaker and advocate for the democratizing potential of technology to enable a more just world at scale. In recognition of her vision and global impact on economic and social progress, Hanna was named the United States Woman Icon of APEC and is a recipient of the 2016 Global Empowerment Award.  

Board member since 2009.

Wences Casares, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Xapo

Wences is a global, financial technology entrepreneur. He is currently founder and CEO of Bitcoin pioneer Xapo, and serves on the board of Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports high-impact entrepreneurs globally.

Previously, he founded successful technology and financial ventures in the U.S., South America and Europe. He created Argentina’s first Internet Service Provider before dropping out of college, and then went on to found Patagon, Latin America’s premier online brokerage, which was acquired by Banco Santander. He later founded Banco Lemon, a Brazilian retail bank, as well as mobile payment companies Bling Nation and Lemon Wallet.

Board member since 2015.

Maya Chorengel, Co-Founder, Elevar

Maya is co-founder of Elevar, an impact investment firm supporting market based solutions for the billions at the base of the economic pyramid. Elevar's first fund, Unitus Equity Fund, was one of the first funds to invest equity in microfinance and, like Kiva, was seen as a critical and innovative approach to addressing the capital gaps for the underserved.

She is an advisor to several impact investing funds and has served on the boards of the International Association of Microfinance Investors, Silicon Valley Microfinance Network, and Dignity Fund, where she was also Managing Director and recently was a member of the National Advisory Board on impact investing.

Board member since 2015.

Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn

Reid Hoffman is Executive Chairman and a co-founder of LinkedIn. Reid is also a partner at Greylock, where he has lead investments in Airbnb, Edmodo, Wrapp and Xapo.

Prior to LinkedIn, Reid was Executive Vice President of PayPal where he was in charge of all business relationships. During his tenure at PayPal, Reid was instrumental to the acquisition by eBay.

Reid has also held management roles in various technology companies, including Fujitsu Software Corporation and Apple. Reid serves on the Board of Directors for Airbnb, DoSomething.org and Edmodo, among others.

Board member since 2006.

Amy Klement, VP Investments, Omidyar Network

Amy Klement is partner at Omidyar Network and leads the firm's education initiative that creates opportunity for millions of people living at the base of the pyramid. Amy oversees Omidyar Network's investments in Bridge International Academy, Elevar and Social Finance U.S. , among others, and sits on the boards of Kiva, Living Goods, Mimoni and Range Networks.

Prior to Omidyar Network, Amy spent much of her career at eBay, Inc., joining PayPal as one of its earliest employees in 1999. She served as Vice President of Product, and was instrumental in the launch of PayPal Mobile, before transitioning to eBay as Vice President of Relationship Marketing.

Board member since 2010.

John D. Muller, Vice President of Global Payments Policy, PayPal

John has spent more than a quarter century focusing on the role that financial law and regulatory compliance can play in fostering prosperity, openness and opportunity. At PayPal, John leads a legal department working to reinvent commercial and payment law to bring the benefits of connected commerce to businesses and consumers. He joined PayPal in 2000 as General Counsel, and became Vice President of legal in 2002.

John has also served as the co-chair of the American Bar Association Joint Subcommittee on Electronic Financial Services and as the chair of the California Bar Association Financial Institutions Committee.

Board member since 2014.

Ρremal Shah, President & Co-Founder, Kiva

Premal Shah co-founded Kiva in 2005, and has worked to promote Kiva’s mission and reach more communities around the world for more than a decade. Premal’s inspiration for Kiva came during a 2-month volunteer trip to India that strengthened his belief that the right combination of technology, business and love can create access to opportunity for those who need it most.

Prior to Kiva, Premal worked at PayPal for 6 years as Principal Product Manager during the company’s early years. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and to FORTUNE magazine’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ list for his work as a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Kiva.

Board member since 2006.