Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director
As the Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director, Emily leads the Kiva Pittsburgh initiative, a partnership between Kiva, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform based in San Francisco, CA, and Urban Innovation21. Kiva aims to support small businesses by improving entrepreneurs’ access to capital. Kiva utilizes a unique online platform that utilizes crowdfunding to assemble funds from individual lenders around the world who rally to support small businesses. Emily informs Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurs, small business technical assistance providers, and community stakeholders about the opportunity offered by crowdfunding and Kiva. She also assists business owners throughout the Kiva application, crowdfunding, and repayment process, leveling the playing field so that digital natives and immigrants can benefit from this new financing tool. Emily works to build a community of Kiva borrowers, trustees, lenders, and partners in the Pittsburgh region that support one another through Kiva and beyond.
Prior to her role as the Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director, Emily was the Chief of Staff for City Councilman Patrick Dowd and the Manager of Financial Education Initiatives at NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania. In each role, she strove to empower Pittsburgh residents through education about the systems that impact their lives and communities, whether it be via zoning policies, traffic engineering regulations, or credit score calculations.
Emily is a Pittsburgh native and graduate of Schenley High School. She received a Bachelors of Science in Social Policy and minored in Economics at Northwestern University. Emily’s passion for Pittsburgh’s communities extends to her volunteer work. Through Urban Hike, she has been leading walks that showcase Pittsburgh’s unique neighborhoods since 2003. She has served as the Dean of Awesome for micro-grantmaker Awesome Pittsburgh since its founding in 2011. In 2014, she recognized for her service as a PUMP and Pittsburgh Magazine “40 Under 40” honoree.