John Jepsen

Global Practice Lead, Financial Services | john_jepsen@dai.com

 Eleven years ago, John left his job at Rolling Stone Magazine in New York City to start as an associate with DAI’s Finance, Banking, and Enterprise group. Little did he know his new job would turn into a lifestyle. John studied international relations and French at American University, but it was an internship during his senior year of college with a small Washington, D.C.-based microfinance outfit that first exposed him to development. This experience would prove to be life-changing.

DAI exposed him to a depth of development issues, but his passion was in microenterprise development, particularly microfinance. He worked on several large U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) microfinance development projects, taking a particular interest in Haiti. He also managed and provided technical assistance to several USAID centralized programs, including the SEGIR Financial Services IQCs, BASIS Rural and Agricultural Finance Best Practice Project, and the Office of Development Credit DCA Design Contract.   

In 2003, John decided to go back to school to obtain a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. During this time he maintained full-time employment with DAI. He benefited from DAI’s corporate continued education benefit, which in turn built his credentials in enterprise development.

In 2006, John became the Deputy Chief of Party on the USAID/Haiti Microfinance, Small and Medium Enterprise Project. He conceived and implemented the strategic work plan for the $7.2 million, three-year program. He left Haiti in 2009 to work with the DAI Banking and Financial Services team on a variety of European projects and proposals. 

“I was nearly Medivacced out of Chad. Unfortunately, the delicious juice I was offered by the town elder contained some not-so-good bacteria.”

— John Jepsen on his first field experience with DAI in rural Chad on a World Bank microfinance evaluation.