Prior to founding Impact America Fund, Kesha launched Jalia Ventures, a minority-focused impact investing initiative that was funded by Josh Mailman and Serious Change, LP. From 2010-2013, Kesha deployed $5M to develop the Jalia Ventures portfolio of 10 mission driven US-based companies owned by entrepreneurs of color.
Her responsibilities included sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities, negotiating deal terms, and providing business support to portfolio companies. Kesha also assisted Serious Change with developing processes to track and manage its $50M global impact portfolio.
Kesha participated in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity program in 1997 and received her BA in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley in 1999. After graduating, she joined Merrill Lynch in NYC as a mergers and acquisitions analyst responsible for building financial models and conducting due diligence to analyze multibillion-dollar transactions. Kesha then worked for the next six years as an operating consultant to small inner-city businesses in Los Angeles and as a public sector consultant engaged to help manage a $350M federal claim related to sheltering displaced residents of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2009, Kesha secured a summer associate position in London at Bridges Ventures, a $500M private impact fund. In this role, she evaluated investment opportunities in social housing, microfinance, education and business services, and assisted the deal team with writing investment memorandums. She received her MBA from Columbia Business School and served on the Columbia University Advisory Committee for Social Responsible Investing from 2009-2013. Kesha is a lifetime member of the Social Venture Network, an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Pace Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and an active mentor to young mission-minded leaders.