The Microcredit Summit Campaign is thrilled to announce that John (“JD”) Bergeron will become the new Director of the Seal of Excellence for Poverty Outreach and Transformation in Microfinance.
“JD Bergeron is a great choice,” said Frances Sinha, Director of EDA Rural Systems and member of the Seal of Excellence Steering Committee. “He will bring freshness and energy to the Seal.”
JD Bergeron has worked in microfinance for six years, most recently as Senior Director of Social Performance at Kiva.org. He developed and executed Kiva’s social performance strategy, completed 100+ social audits at partner MFIs, and created a scorecard and Social Performance Badges. Previously, he led the growth of the Kiva Fellows Program. Bergeron brings over 16 years of leadership and program development experience both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to Kiva, he worked at Acción, served with the U.S. Peace Corps in a poor, rural region of Bulgaria, and held senior roles at a variety of early stage companies during periods of rapid growth. Bergeron holds a BA in Russian Language and Comparative Literature from Washington University in Saint Louis. He facilitates the Client Voice Task Force at the Smart Campaign and has been an active member of the Social Performance Task Force Working Groups for Social Investors and Universal Standards. He is also the co-founder of Bike Zambia, a not-for-profit event to raise money and awareness of HIV/AIDS and poverty in southern Africa. The inaugural ride left Lusaka on June 24th.
“Microfinance has taken some hits over the past few years,” said Bergeron, “and I am honored to be working with the Steering Committee to put poor clients at the heart of the microfinance movement. The Seal will help to create a learning environment and to support institutions pursuing positive outcomes for poor clients. I believe the microfinance community is ready for a client-centered approach to poverty reduction and I am inspired by the idea that one day a client will choose an MFI after seeing the Seal in the window because she knows she will be treated well and they will be committed to her long-term success.”
“As we were looking for just the right person to fill the Seal Director position,” said Larry Reed, Director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, “it was important that our candidate be strong in four key areas: a familiarity with the social rating and assessment field, an entrepreneurial spirit and experience with start-ups, an ability to communicate the importance of the Seal of Excellence for the industry, and a capacity to raise additional resources. JD Bergeron impressed us in all of those areas.”
“We’re going against the tide with the Seal,” said Seal Steering Committee member and Executive Committee Co-chair Carmen Velasco, co-founder and Director of Pro Mujer, Inc., “and I’m confident that as the Seal Director JD will bring a strategic mindset on how to gain buy-in and be able to articulate the message well.”