Eric Kessler, an NDI staff alum, is a serial entrepreneur who has started, led, and advised organizations pursuing social change across the country and around the globe. As Founder of Arabella Advisors, Eric has been at the forefront of innovation and impact in the philanthropic sector during one of its greatest historical expansions.
While guiding Arabella from a small startup to a company with more than 250 employees that advises on billions of dollars of philanthropic resources annually, Eric has focused on helping clients achieve their philanthropic goals by devising grant-making strategies, mounting effective advocacy campaigns, evaluating impact, and managing their foundation’s operations. In addition to serving a broad range of family, institutional, and corporate clients, Eric leads the firm’s work with clients who are working to improve our food system through policies and business investments that promote nutritious, sustainable, and affordable food.
Eric created the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, co-founded the Chef Action Network and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and maintains a private equity portfolio of businesses whose products and serves support equity, health and sustainability. Earlier in his career, he served as the first national field director for the League of Conservation Voters. Then, as a White House appointee, he helped manage conservation issues during the Clinton administration. Eric also spent six years with the National Democratic Institute, which sent him to the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, and throughout the Middle East to train civic and political leaders on strategies to encourage democratic change.
Eric is on the boards of the James Beard Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, the 1630 Fund, several food-sector businesses and a private family foundation. He is a member of YPO and Summit Series.
Eric holds an Executive MBA from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Colorado.