Eric Kessler is founder and president of the New Venture Fund, a grantmaking intermediary foundation that houses a donor collaborative and facilitates international grantmaking, managed by Arabella Advisors.
Member Profile December 2010
Years in position: 4
Years in philanthropy: 20
Where is home? Chevy Chase, DC
Years in DC region: I moved to DC in 1993, but spent seven of those years overseas in Kazakhstan, Cambodia and the Middle East.
How did you get started in philanthropy? I am a 5th generation family philanthropist. Our family owned a manufacturing company that led corporate philanthropy efforts in the U.S. for 95 years. The sale of the business gave me an opportunity to build my own philanthropic portfolio.
What's your favorite part about your job?
Building platforms within the New Venture Fund to support for innovative ideas in the philanthropy community, such as an international disaster recovery fund and a donor collaborative focused on child nutrition advocacy.
Biggest/most exciting project you worked on in the past year:
We built a public/private partnership between a group of funders and the Obama Administration focused on the school meals and child nutrition. Over 13 months we supported major education and advocacy efforts and saw the fruits of our labor when legislation passed this month enabling better nutrition in schools for 32 million children.
"When I'm not working, I'm...
sailing on the Bay, chasing after my 4 and 2 year-old children, managing my own personal family philanthropy.
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