Ananda Kiamsha Madelyn Leeke makes a difference in the world by helping people and organizations just like you outsmart stress and embrace #ThrivingMindfully. Ananda develops and implements trainings, tools, practices, and other resources that promote mindfulness in a way that is practical, impactful, and accessible. She defines mindfulness as “the practice of taking a deep breath, coming into the present moment, and paying attention without judgment. The present moment is where you can access awareness, balance, and calm with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Mindfulness is the gateway to who we truly are.” She discovered it when her career as a young lawyer and investment banker did not produce the level of success she expected.
Over the past 25 years, mindfulness has helped her overcome panic attacks, release her career expectations, develop self-care practices, and pursue her calling as an artist, author, Reiki master practitioner, speaker, and yoga teacher. She serves as CEO of Ananda Leeke Consulting, a firm that provides coaching and training in mindful living, creativity, and technology. Also, she is participating in the Engaged Mindfulness Institute’s Mindfulness Facilitator Program (will complete in May 2018). The year-long program will deepen her mindfulness practice and work with women, girls, law students, social justice activists, and creative, legal, and tech professionals.
Since 2003, she has served as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Howard University Hospital and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As an artist-in-residence, she works with patients, families, and hospital staff on creative projects that include collage, drawing, painting, wire sculpture, poetry, storytelling, and writing exercises. 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 creativity memoir. Both books and her tech memoir, Digital Sisterhood are available on Amazon. She is currently writing Lighthouse: A Memoir of Thriving Mindfully.
Her digital communications career was born in 1996 during her tenure at the Hamilton Securities Group, Inc., a mission-driven investment bank and financial software firm that 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.
In addition, 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 web sites, products, and services (1997-1999). It laid the foundation for her work as an online columnist for the women’s channel on NetNoir.com (1997-1999), 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 (2005-present).
As a result, she was able to utilize her expertise to launch and manage two tech inclusion initiatives: Digital Sisterhood Network, a women’s media channel and online community (2010-2015), and Digital Citizenship Project (2014-2015). 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) from 2008 to 2013.
After leaving USCRI, she worked as a digital communications consultant, volunteered at the Obama White House and was recognized as a social media thought leader, launched the first-ever social media and workplace mindfulness programs as Digital Communications Director at Law Students in Court, and shared her social media expertise as a commentator on The Daily Drum, a radio program that airs on WHUR 96.3 FM. Currently, she serves as the Chief Social Media Officer at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council.
She speaks at conferences and events sponsored by AT&T, Automattic, BlogHer, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Executive Women International, Howard University, Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media, Nonprofit Technology Network, Sisterhued, Spelman College, and Web of Change.
She 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 is also a member of Unity of Washington, DC and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She lives in Washington, DC. Visit anandaleeke.com.