Smita Vadakekalam

Chief Operating Officer and Senior Strategist

In 1998 Smita starting work on the front-line of the nonprofit sector helping organizations with fundraising, technology strategy, and operations streamlining. Since then she has worked with hundreds of nonprofits implementing strong business practices, technology and change management strategies to make their work more efficient and effective. Smita has played several roles at Heller, from Consultant, Senior Consultant, Project Manager, VP of Professional Services to her current role as COO and Senior Strategist. Smita has spoken at a variety of conferences including NetHope Global Summit, Association for Advancement Services Professionals (AASP), Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, Bridge Conference, Nonprofit Technology Network Conference, Classy Collaborative, and user conferences for Avectra, Blackbaud, Convio and Salesforce. She is an active member of the ACMP webinar Committee and has moderated several ACMP webinars. She also serves on the Alumni Board for the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy – Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.


  • Prosci-Certified Change Practitioner
  • Certified Change Management Practitioner, CCMP
  • Project Management Professional, PMP


  • B.A., International Relations, George Washington University
  • M.A., Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy


  • Running
  • Spending time with her family
  • Serving on the diversity committee of a local NYC public school