Through a generous gift from Dr. Sol J. Barer and the Barer Family, Drew CRCC welcomed Jessica Jackley as the Barer Distinguished Visiting Fellow for the 2012-13 academic year. Jessica is the co-founder of microfinancing platform kiva.org.
Jackley graduated from Bucknell University and earned her MBA from Stanford. Inspired by her experiences on an undergraduate study abroad program in Uganda, Jackley conceived and co-founded KIVA.org, a pioneering on-line micro-lending site that now facilitates nearly $350 million in micro-loans annually from 800,000 individual lenders to empower over a million people in 220 countries around the world by allowing them to improve their lives through entrepreneurship. KIVA boasts a loan repayment rate of nearly 99%. Jackley has appeared on TED, and in 2009 TIME magazine recognized her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Last fall Economist magazine awarded Jessica Jackley its prestigious “No Boundaries” Innovation Award. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton frequently cites her work with KIVA as a prime example of how social entrepreneurship can radically change poverty around the world. She is currently featured in a series of national television advertisements by the Best Buy company. Read more about Jessica’s thoughts on social entrepreneurship and global change.
The primary role of the Barer Distinguished Visiting Fellow is to teach and anchor a public lecture series, focusing this year on the topic of new media and social entrepreneurship. The Barer Fellow serves the CRCC in contributing to its threefold mission of teaching, research and public outreach by acting as a catalyst for interdisciplinary conversations about social and economic development as a means for addressing conflict.