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. Eric 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.
n addition to founding Arabella, Eric also founded and serves as president of the New Venture Fund, an innovative, independent 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates 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, Eric 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 six 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.
Eric is on the boards of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, the James Beard Foundation, and Chefs Action Network. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Association of Small Foundations, the Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Young Presidents’ Organization, Summit Series, and the Bretton Woods Committee. 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.
Eric is a co-owner, with chef Mike Isabella, of Graffiato, Kapnos, and G, all well-reviewed restaurants in Washington, DC. He holds an International MBA from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.