Meet The Arabella Team

Eric Kessler

Founder, Principal, and Senior Managing Director

Eric is a serial entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to starting, leading, and advising nonprofit and business organizations pursuing positive social, economic, and environmental change across the country and around the globe. As the founder of Arabella Advisors in 2005, Eric has been at the forefront of innovation and impact in the philanthropic sector during its greatest historical expansion.

With a best-in-class management team now leading Arabella’s 350+ employees as they advise on nearly $10 billion in philanthropic resources annually, Eric’s work at the firm centers around spurring new social-sector innovations, advising donors and investors focused on improving our food system, and launching campaigns and services aimed at addressing the world’s most intractable problems.

Named one of Inside Philanthropy’s 100 Most Powerful Players in Philanthropy, Eric co-founded the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which helps communities recover stronger following disasters. Eric also co-founded the Chef Action Network and created the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change—both programs of the James Beard Foundation. Eric proudly serves on the governing boards of the James Beard Foundation and the National Democratic Institute, the 1630 Fund, and the advisory board of Georgetown University’s Business for Impact. Eric is also on the boards of several businesses in the food sector that support organic farmers and independent chefs. He is an active member of YPO.

Earlier in his career, Eric worked for the League of Conservation Voters and then, as a White House appointee, he helped manage conservation issues during the Clinton administration. Later, Eric 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 holds an Executive MBA from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Colorado.

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