Elizabeth Kesner Director of People & Operations
Elizabeth Kesner (she/her/hers) joined Umoja Student Development Corporation in January 2020 as Director, People + Operations.
Elizabeth's role is to nurture the internal logistical, relational, and strategic conditions that will enable Umoja to meet its social impact goals, similar to the work she has done with a variety of organizations as a consultant for Kleger Heine Legal Solutions.
Before relocating to Chicago recently, Elizabeth worked for 11 years with United Friends of the Children in Los Angeles, California, an organization that serves youth and young adults who have experienced foster care by providing housing and education services. As a counselor and eventually as a member of the leadership team, Elizabeth supported college students in navigating the complexities of college life on their own and her fellow staff in the work. Her 16 years of experience in the nonprofit sector have cemented Elizabeth’s commitment to helping social impact professionals and organizations be their best to do their best.
A native West Virginian from small-town Appalachia, Elizabeth focused on African American history as an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. She obtained a master’s degree in educational foundations from California State University, Los Angeles and a certificate in human resources management from the University of California, Los Angeles. Elizabeth was just selected as a Pahara NextGen Fellow and is honored to participate in the Winter 2020 Cohort.