As founder and Managing Director of Arabella Advisors, Eric Kessler has built a social venture firm dedicated to making philanthropy more effective. His client work at Arabella includes philanthropy strategy, evaluation, foundation management and project execution. Mr. Kessler has spearheaded evaluations of many of the world’s most significant nonprofits and served as executive director of numerous foundations through the Arabella Foundation Management platform. His insights on civil society and effective philanthropy are often quoted by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and National Public Radio’s “Marketplace.”
In addition to founding Arabella, Mr. Kessler also founded and serves as president of the New Venture Fund, an innovative, independent 501(c)(3) organization that houses donor collaboratives, serves as a global grant-making intermediary, and provides fiscal sponsorship to new project ideas inspired by philanthropists and foundations. He is also a co-founder of the Creation Care Fund and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Kessler served as the National Field Director for the League of Conservation Voters and then as a White House appointee, helping to manage conservation issues during the Clinton Administration. He spent seven years in the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia and throughout the Middle East, training civic and political organizations on effective organizing strategies and advising donors who invested in their efforts.
Mr. Kessler is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Association of Small Foundations, the Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Summit Series. He is on the board of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. He also serves as a trustee of his own family’s foundation, which holds assets generated by the sale of a fifth-generation family-owned business.
Mr. Kessler is a Co-Owner, with Chef Mike Isabella, of Graffiato, a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C. He holds an International M.B.A. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.