KLI Hires Neela Rajendra as Director for Entrepreneurial Initiatives

CIE is excited to announce the Kravis Leadership Institute’s hiring of Neela Rajendra to lead KLI’s entrepreneurial initiatives. KLI is an extremely valuable partner and resource to CIE and this represents a huge jump in the ability for CIE and KLI to work together in bringing more entrepreneurial opportunities to campus. Neela has already had some incredible experiences with entrepreneurship programs and we hope to take full advantage of her knowledge and skills. Neela’s hiring is yet another step forward for CMC as we aim to foster an great community of entrepreneurs. Please see below for KLI’s official release on Neela’s hiring, as well as her biography:

The Kravis Leadership Institute is very pleased to introduce Neela Rajendra as the new Director for KLI’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives. Neela will be responsible for leading all of KLI’s current social and commercial entrepreneurial activities, such as the two tracks of the Innovative Start-Up Award, as well as developing new programs, such as the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus Initiative. As part of KLI’s role with the CIE, she will also be working in partnership with CIE as well as other organizations and institutes on campus, to assist student ventures and to design programs that help students develop entrepreneurial skill sets and competencies.  

Neela Bajendra

Neela’s driving passion in her work has been to develop strong leaders to create social impact. Fro her experiences teaching high school in the Marshall Islands to starting Wake Forest’s small business development program in Nicaragua, Neela has worked with both the young and experienced to focus their skills and talents to create positive social change.

Neela’s greatest strengths are her people skills as reflected in her professional experiences. She has honed her ability to build relationships through her work at organizations such as Advisory Board while advising C-suite executives on their talent development needs. Neela learned how to navigate conflicting interests and facilitate consensus through her time at Ashoka when she worked with reams of students and faculty to develop social entrepreneurship programs on campuses across the country.

After earning her M.B.A. from Wake Forest University in 2008, Neela chose to work for a strategy consulting firm based in the Washington D.C. area, to deepen her business knowledge. To that end, Neela returned to the consulting firm in 2011 as a senior associate to continue strengthening the foundations of her background in the private sector. The breadth of experience consulting provided is helping her apply best practices to the fields of leadership development and social change.

Her work now as Director of Entrepreneurial initiatives at the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College is the culmination of her experiences and is the perfect platform for her to continue her work to develop young entrepreneurial leaders in both the social and commercial sectors.

Her other life is as a violinist with the D.C.-based Americana rock band, The Riverbreaks (www.theriverbreaks.com), who are recording their second album. Neela is also the chef and owner of Table Pairings (www.tablepairings.com), a supper club that aims to build community around the dinner table.