Dr. Saleha Khumawala is the Robert Grinaker Professor of Accounting at the University of Houston, the Director of Non-Profit Management, and the Founding Director of the Microfinance Program at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business. The Microfinance Program empowers aspiring entrepreneurs from underserved communities in Houston by providing access to financial education, financial services, and capital investment. Full Bio. Learn more about the University of Houston Microfinance Program.
Laura Giadorou Koch is a New York and Argentine lawyer, social entrepreneur and innovative educator. As well she is a communications expert and fund-raiser who forges new bridges across communities within global development and environmental issues focused on corporate sustainability, microfinance and education of youth. Currently she serves as CEO for a “B Certified Company”, Senior Advisor for Ashoka Support Network, Young President Organization (YPO) Officer for the Sustainability Business & Impact Networks and board member of Grameen Prima Care. She is member of the Economic Club of New York and Women Corporate Directors.
Combining her passion for engaging students to be ChangeMakers with her communications expertise she has pioneered curricula to engage the next generation in critical development issues, financial inclusion and women empowerment. She teaches in high schools throughout New York, Washington, DC, Connecticut and Argentina. As an inspiring motivational speaker, Laura address audiences that include: KivaU, Ashoka U, Columbia University, Deloitte, La ldea Pitch Competition and BRAC Youth Initiative. She serves as Senior Editor for e-AboutMicrofinance, and has published reports and articles for the United Nations, Wall Street Journal and Argentine newspapers on legal, microfinance and social entrepreneurship topics.
Prior to focusing on global development, she practiced corporate law and financial communications on Wall Street for over two decades, specializing in cross-border transactions for Latin American and European clients.
Ms. Vallette is a former U.S. Army Captain and the director of United Service Organizations in Houston, Texas. Ms. Vallette volunteered as a Kiva Microfinance Fellow in Azerbaijan and currently volunteers at the Microfinance Program at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.
Bio coming soon.
April Chang is a student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. April seeks to combine her passion for microfinance and entrepreneurship to create tangible social impact. The co-founder of her own company, Backtrack, she continues her interest in social entrepreneurship through the Clinton Global Initiative’s Hult Prize Competition and through her work with Compass Capital, a non-profit microfinance start up. April is also actively involved in The Penn Microfinance Club, where her team works with BRAC – the largest NGO in the world – to provide employment to young adults in Bangladesh.
Saba Beridze is a student at Harvard College from Tbilisi, Georgia, currently serving as a Co-President at Harvard College Microfinance Project. He is passionate about social finance, believing that the delivery of financial services at affordable costs to low-income segments of society can set the world’s economy to burst. Besides spearheading the HCMP, Saba is a teaching fellow for Harvard’s second-year macroeconomics course and serves as a campus ambassador chair at Harvard VisitIng Undergraduate Student Program. He has been named Harvard College Scholar for academic excellence and received Derek C. Bok Certificate of Distinction in Teaching. Saba is currently interning in the office of the CEO at Earnest Inc., a financial technology startup based in San Francisco, trying to build the bank of the future using data analytics and technology to bring customers a fast, low-cost, and hyper-personalized experience.
Matt Gallea is a freshman in Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business from New York City. He is currently a Marketing Associate for the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative, a 501(c)-3 organization that provides loans directly to underfinanced individuals in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. Prior to this, he was the Vice President for Operations at Zawadi by Youth, an entirely student-run, 501(c)-3 microfinance organization at Riverdale Country School, and a Founding Student Board Member of the National High School Microfinance Initiative. He has also worked first as an Outreach Intern and later as the Director of Operations for Who Cares? Media, a social-impact media company responsible for the film Who Cares?. Additionally, he serves as a Consultant with the Georgetown Global Microfinance Initiative, an organization that provides pro-bono consulting to MFIs around the world.