Bohdanna Kesala

Director, International Summits

As Director of International Summits, Bohdanna’s work is to bring influencers together to cross-pollinate regional, national, and global ideas that will grow into tech and social change for the betterment of us all.

After graduating from Indiana University-Bloomington, Bohdanna worked at Northwestern University as their Special Events Coordinator. There she met and worked with politicians, Supreme Court justices, and the brightest academic minds and witnessed the power of knowledge and change.

From there, she moved to San Francisco and received a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting from California College of Arts and an MFA in Painting from San Francisco State University. For the next decade Bohdanna concentrated on her art career. She exhibited her work in the US and Europe while also teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute. Bohdanna’s paintings focused on beauty and history and how they can bring people together visually.

Merging her creativity and passion to bring people together in collaboration, Bohdanna began working for The Thiel Foundation as their Event Curator, managing all aspects of their events from high level design, curating speakers, and building partnerships between other organizations. Some specific highlights include: Managing all events for CNBC Transforming Tomorrow: a documentary focused on the Thiel Fellowship, working with Wired.com in producing events for ‘Teen Technorati’, a web series on The Thiel Fellowship, and producing events for Breakout Labs Unboxing: a showcase of BOL’s grantees. Bohdanna was also one of the architects of The Thiel Foundation Summit; a bi-annual assembly of  young entrepreneurs and visionaries from around the world.

Working directly with entrepreneurs inspired Bohdanna to open 10 Forward Events, a full service event-curation firm specializing in producing innovative and one-of-a-kind events for the science and tech industry, startups, entrepreneurs, and VC firms. This endeavor ultimately brought her to SU.