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Sameeksha Desai

Director of Special Projects and Advisory, Knowledge Creation and Research, Entrepreneurship

Sameeksha Desai is the director of special projects and advisory, knowledge creation and research in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she embodies strategic and visionary leadership by anticipating trends and identifying patterns in data and evidence to shape the Foundation’s entrepreneurship strategy. Desai leads the design and implementation of the Foundation’s research-based thought leadership strategy in entrepreneurship, identifies knowledge gaps that must be closed in order to advance entrepreneurship and conducts actionable and practical research that can inform programmatic strategies.

Concurrently to working for the Kauffman Foundation, Desai is on leave from her position as a tenured associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, where she teaches and conducts research related to entrepreneurship, economic development and public policy. She is also an editor of Small Business Economics and an affiliate at the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been a consultant for the World Bank Group, a co-chair of the Transatlantic Policy Consortium and a visiting scholar for the Kauffman Foundation.

Desai earned a Doctor of Philosophy in public policy from George Mason University, a Master of Science in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in sociology from Northwestern University.