Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke discovered mindfulness, self-care, and wellness when her career as a lawyer, an investment banker, and a digital communications professional stressed her out, caused burnout, and did not produce the level of success she expected. Over the past 30 years, mindfulness, self-care, and wellness have helped Ananda navigate change, become resilient, overcome panic attacks, transform her relationship with technology and social media, and release her career expectations. As a result, she has been able to pursue her calling as an artist-in-residence at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, an author, a speaker, a trainer, a mindfulness and yoga teacher, a digital wellness educator, and a reiki and sound healing practitioner. Today, she helps high achievers and mission-driven companies, organizations, and communities navigate change, embrace self-care and digital wellness, tap into creativity, become resilient, and thrive mindfully.
As the Chief Mindfulness Officer of Ananda Leeke Consulting, she leads a wellness company that specializes in personal and professional development. She oversees the Thriving Mindfully Academy, an online education platform, and hosts and produces the Thriving Mindfully Podcast. In addition, she creates artwork that promotes mindfulness, self-care, wellness, and resiliency. Her mixed media collages, wire sculptures, and paintings have been exhibited in the Washington DC metropolitan area, New York City, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Several of her paintings decorate the covers of her books, Love’s Troubadours, a yoga-inspired novel, and That Which Awakens Me, a mindful creativity memoir. Both books and her mindful technology memoir, Digital Sisterhood are available on Amazon. Currently, she is writing Thriving Mindfully as the REAL ME, a memoir of resiliency and joy.
She speaks at conferences, conducts trainings, and leads coaching sessions for the Allied Media Project/ZEAL Press, Association of Wedding Professionals, AT&T, Automattic, Big Bear Retreat Center, BlogHer, Body Connect Health Wellness, Community Associations Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Eaton DC, Executive Women International, Holy Cross Hospital, Howard University, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, Institute for Medicaid Innovation, Keela, Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media, lululemon, Marisla Foundation, Meetup/WeWork, National Association of Corporate Directors, Nonprofit Technology Network, Sierra Club, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Sisterhued, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Spelman College, The Conference Board, Unity of Washington, DC, Washington Hospital Center, Washington National Cathedral, Web of Change, and Wonder Women Tech Summit. She regularly shares her thought leadership on WHUR 96.3 FM and digital media platforms.
She received Acquisition International’s Influential Businesswoman Award for the Most Caring Woman in Mindfulness Training and WeUpWomen’s Adelaide Smith Award for her work in self-care and wellness in 2018. In 2019, she was selected by lululemon to serve as a lululemon luminary, received Acquisition International’s Influential Businesswoman in Professional Development – USA Award, and was named a Well-Being Warrior by the Well-Being and Equity Bridging Network.
Ananda is a proud alumna of Georgetown University Law Center (LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation, 1991), Howard University School of Law (J.D, 1989), Morgan State University (B.A. in French, 1986), and Elizabeth Seton High School (1982). She earned the following certifications: 40-hour digital wellness educator certification from the Digital Wellness Institute (2020), 300-hour mindfulness teacher certification from the Engaged Mindfulness Institute (2018), Reiki master certification from the Reiki Lotus Healing Center (2008), and 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification from Flow Yoga Center (2006). She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She lives in Washington, DC. Learn more at AnandaLeeke.com.
DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS CAREER BIO
Ananda’s digital communications career was born during her tenure at the Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., a mission-driven investment bank and financial software firm in the mid 90s. Hamilton represented the Federal Housing Administration and launched a data servicing startup in public housing in Washington, DC. While at Hamilton, she spearheaded the design and implementation of the firm’s intellectual property protection and contracts administration programs for Internet products and services. Her expertise in these areas allowed her to serve as a team member on community venture capital transactions in underserved communities. She also built, maintained, and conducted team trainings on intellectual property, Internet promotions, and privacy.
Also, she worked as the Knowledge Manager for e.villages, Hamilton’s data servicing startup in public housing. In this role, she created, curated, and maintained content for an intranet which housed information, resources, tools, and best practices on community development, economic self-sufficiency, employment, financial literacy, housing, life skills management, micro-enterprises, and welfare reform.
Her Hamilton experience launched her career as a business consultant who conducted trademark searches, prepared copyright registration and domain reservation applications, and provided legal disclaimer language for websites, products, and services. It laid the foundation for her work as an online columnist for the women’s channel on NetNoir.com, a multimedia services company and website that focused on African American culture and lifestyle. She later tapped into her content creation skills to create blogs, podcasts, social media marketing strategies, and videos to market her art, books, coaching practice, and reiki and yoga services.
As a result, Ananda was able to utilize her expertise to launch and manage two tech inclusion initiatives: Digital Sisterhood Network (DSN), a women’s media channel and online community, and Digital Citizenship Project (DCP). Her mindful technology memoir, Digital Sisterhood (available on Amazon) celebrates her digital life and work with the DSN and DCP. Also, she designed and managed the first-ever social media technical assistance and training program for over 25 affiliate agencies at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI).
After leaving USCRI, she worked as a digital communications consultant, volunteered with the Obama White House and was recognized as a social media thought leader, and launched the first-ever social media and workplace mindfulness programs as the Digital Communications Director of Law Students in Court (now Rising for Justice). Currently, she serves as the Chief Social Media Officer at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and on the Nonprofit Technology Network’s Board of Directors .
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Ananda’s relationship with social media and technology intensified. Her screen time increased dramatically which caused digital distraction, information overload, and eye strain. Her sleep routine was also impacted. In an effort to achieve tech-life balance and to strengthen her mindful technology skills, she completed the Digital Wellness Institute’s 10-week certification course. Her training as a certified digital wellness educator expanded her mindful technology services and digital wellness resources.