Announcing 2012-2013 Regional Social Impact Fellows

October 22, 2012

We are pleased to announce the 2012-2013 RSF Regional Social Impact Fellows. This cohort marks RSF’s third year of the fellowship program.

The Regional Social Impact Fellowship is designed to support the development of the next generation of inspiring leaders in the social finance field. RSF also seeks to bring a fresh perspective to the organization’s business development activities.

Fellows will work closely with RSF’s Lending Team identifying prospective borrowers, conducting due diligence, and structuring commercial loans that will become part of RSF’s $73 million Social Enterprise Lending portfolio. The Fellowship is an extension of RSF’s mission to build the field of social finance. Working with graduate students across disciplines and geographic areas not only allows RSF to build a network of advocates for the industry but to spread the work of social finance into places where the concept of values-aligned investing is still very nascent.

Ted Levinson, Director of Lending at RSF, described the Fellowship program as “the most hands-on opportunity for graduate students who want to make a difference in the field of social finance.”

Kate Danaher, Senior Lending Associate at RSF, was a part of the first cohort of Fellows. “This is an opportunity for students to explore their interests in the field. For me personally, the experience as a Fellow solidified my suspicions that I wanted to pursue a career in social finance.”

2012-2013 Regional Social Impact Fellows

Sarah Cabell is pursuing her MBA in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco with a focus on food systems, agriculture, and social equity. Until recently, she oversaw $1.7 billion in funding and grants for the USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (USDA). Her Presidio team won the San Francisco regional competition of the Hult Global Case Challenge in Spring 2012, and she received a Fink Family Foundation stipend to research impact investment in food systems at RSF Social Finance in Summer 2012. Sarah currently co-chairs the Presidio Sustainable Food Club, is the student member of the Presidio Board of Directors, and holds a B.A. in Human Development with a concentration in Inequality Studies from Cornell University.

Siobhan King is a 2013 MBA Candidate and Forté Fellow at the Johnson School at Cornell University. Prior to Johnson, Siobhan was an Associate at ICF International, where she provided energy consulting services to several programs including the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program; and Massachusetts’ MassSave program, Green Communities Act and Small Renewables Initiative. She is a LEED Accredited Professional with expertise in green building and is a two-time presenter at the USGBC’s GreenBuild International Conference. Currently, Siobhan is a Fund Manager for the BR Venture Fund, Johnson’s student run seed-stage venture capital fund. She is also a member of the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club, Energy Club, Women’s Management Council, and a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the Cornell Women’s Rowing Team. Siobhan holds a BSc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, and a MSc. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh.

Emily Havens currently attends The Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where she is pursuing her MBA in Sustainable Systems with a concentration in finance. Emily’s interest in social finance arises not only from her MBA education, but from a collection of many experiences: as an ecological economist, a cultural anthropologist, a leadership and mountaineering instructor, a collaborative problem solver, and as a practitioner of permaculture design. She has been active with a wide variety of non-profits around the world from engaging in outreach work for a community supported agriculture program (CSA) in Wisconsin, contributing to community development projects in Spain, to designing and implementing curriculum for at-risk youth in Quito, Ecuador. Emily currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she works full time with Social Venture Partners Portland.

Earnest Sweat is pursuing an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management. Post-MBA he looks to find a position within impact investing where he can utilize the valuable skills that he has obtained working in finance as well as his passion for education as a gateway to access.  Sweat’s professional career began as an Equity Research Associate for BMO Capital Markets. Prior to that, he received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University. Sweat’s professional fellowships include Startingbloc and Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s MBA Prep Program. Outside of work, Sweat has devoted much of his time as a founding member of MERIT Inc. (www.meritinc.org), which aims to provide exposure to minority high school students from Central Arkansas by connecting them to both local and national professionals who share similar backgrounds.

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