Aarti Kotak (she/her) is the Managing Director, Head of ESG and Social Impact for Ariel Alternatives. In her role, Ms. Kotak works to design and execute Ariel Alternatives’ long-term impact strategy, including Project Black’s focus on building Black and Latino/a wealth, and leads the firm’s Impact and ESG investment diligence and portfolio company engagement work.
She is an attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in economic development, public policy and public-private finance. Most recently, she served as the Chief Strategy and Operations Advisor at PEAK6. Prior to PEAK6, Ms. Kotak was Deputy Chief of Staff for Neighborhood Economic Development in the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In that role, she led the Mayor’s neighborhood efforts, with a focus on the areas most in need. During her time at City Hall, she demonstrated expertise in strategizing and implementing policies and projects, including serving as a leader of the City’s Amazon bid team and co-creating the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and serving as its founding director, distributing $50 million in new resources, predominantly to entrepreneurs of color in communities in need. Previously, she worked on the NATO Host Committee and at the Preservation of Affordable Housing as the Director of the Woodlawn Choice Neighborhoods Program and was an attorney in the Real Estate practice at DLA Piper LLP.