Kerwin Tesdell is president of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance (CDVCA), which promotes the availability of startup and growth risk capital for businesses to create good jobs, productive wealth, and entrepreneurial capacity that advance the livelihoods of low-income people and the economies of distressed communities. CDVCA manages $300 million, including the $45 million Puerto Rico Fund for Growth, the $46 million Innovate NY Fund, smaller funds focused on Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, and Mississippi, as well as national pools of capital. In addition to managing its own capital, CDVCA builds the capacity of the community development venture capital impact investment industry by providing education and networking opportunities, developing best practices, and supporting positive public policy. Kerwin has been an adjunct professor at New York University for more than 25 years, teaching Social Venture Capital at the Stern School of Business and Community Development Law at the School of Law.
Prior to joining CDVCA, Kerwin was a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where he had primary responsibility for the Foundation’s investments and grantmaking for small business finance and job creation. Before that, he was the Director of the Community Development Legal Assistance Center, an associate with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, and a law clerk to federal judge Constance Baker Motley, Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York. Kerwin is a board member and the past board chair for seven years, of the Coalition of Community Development Financials Institutions (CDFIs). He serves on the boards or advisory boards of the Center for Community Development Investments of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) of the GIIN; the Financial Innovations Roundtable at the Carsey Institute, as well as eleven impact investment funds around the nation. Kerwin graduated from Harvard College with a degree in economics and holds JD and MBA degrees from New York University, as well as a certificate from the Venture Capital Institute.