Aarti Kotak is the Managing Director, Head of ESG and Social Impact for Ariel Alternatives, LLC. 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 diligence and implementation with portfolio companies.
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 she was Deputy Chief of Staff for Neighborhood Economic Development in the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In that role, Aarti led the Mayor’s neighborhood efforts, with a focus on the areas most in need. During her time in the Chicago Mayor’s office, she demonstrated expertise in strategizing and implementing policies and projects, helping to lead the City’s Amazon bid team. Ms. Kotak co-created the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and served as its founding director, distributing $50 million in new resources, predominantly to entrepreneurs of color in communities in need. Prior to her work at the City, she served as general counsel for the NATO Summit Host Committee, and as an attorney in the Real Estate practice at DLA Piper LLP.
Ms. Kotak serves on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and previously served as a member of the Board of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. She holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her J.D. with distinction from Stanford University School of Law.