2011-2012 Luce Scholar

Kanika grew up in San Francisco, CA and currently lives in Washington, DC where she is pursuing a Master in Public Administration degree at the George Washington University, concentrating in International Development Management. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in International Affairs and Women’s Studies from the George Washington University in May 2009. Kanika’s experiences abroad have included studying at the London School of Economics, learning Spanish in Spain, researching grassroots development with NGOs in India, traveling and doing volunteer work in Peru, and taking documentary filmmaking classes in Cuba. She has also spent time traveling through Brazil, Kenya and Morocco. Now focusing primarily on microfinance, Kanika has conducted research on women’s savings groups in India, interned at microfinance organization ACCION International and is currently publishing a paper for the George Washington University’s journal Policy Perspectives on how cross-sector collaboration in mobile banking can best be used to expand access to financial services among the unbanked poor. Kanika also has experience researching and working in the areas of housing, infrastructure, gender equity and human and labor rights. In addition to ACCION International, Kanika has worked for the DC Department of Transportation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Latino Economic Development Corporation, International Relief & Development and the United Nations Development Programme. Kanika hopes to use her experience in Asia to become a better advocate for culturally appropriate and effective tools for empowering the poor both abroad and in the United States. Additionally, while in Asia, Kanika looks forward to exploring her passions for the outdoors and filmmaking in a new geographical context, as well as sharing her love for her favorite sport – ultimate Frisbee.