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Chhaya Kolavalli

Senior Program Officer – Knowledge Creation and Research, Entrepreneurship

Chhaya Kolavalli is a senior program officer – knowledge creation and research in Entrepreneurship for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she manages a portfolio directed at tracking, answering, and anticipating the most pressing challenges for entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship supporters, and policymakers, as well as program staff, and internal and external partners.

Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, Kolavalli was an assistant director at the University of Kentucky Center for Equality and Social Justice, where she developed programming that supports collaborative social justice research, helping researchers think about their work in more community-engaged and policy-relevant ways. Earlier, Kolavalli was an editorial assistant with Human Organization, where she managed the manuscript review process for the flagship journal in applied anthropology.

Kolavalli is involved in a number of volunteer and community organizations, including On The Table 2020, the University of Kentucky Undergraduate Women’s Mentorship program, and the University of Kentucky’s Year of Equity. She is the author of the forthcoming book, with the University of Georgetown press, “Blight: Spatialized Whiteness, Green Urban Development, and Black Resistance in Kansas City.” Her work can be found in other publications, such as Gastronomica, Human Organization, and Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development.

Kolavalli has a Ph.D. in applied anthropology specializing in equitable city development, race and racism, and urban agriculture from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Kansas.