Ananda Leeke’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, Ananda 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. In 2021, she is using her training as a certified digital wellness educator to expand her mindful technology services and digital wellness resources.