Ja’Net Defell currently leads the recently launched initiative, Community Desk Chicago, a partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Defell joined the Trust with more than 15 years of urban planning and real estate development experience. Prior to the Trust, Defell served as a real estate subject matter expert for a federal agency and a real estate consultant and developer at a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) where she managed a portfolio of nonprofit real estate projects valuing more than $60 million. In addition to her direct real estate experience, Defell has worked with the philanthropic community to build capacity related to facilities management and planning as well as supported the development of city-wide initiatives to improve facility conditions in low-income and underserved communities.
Defell holds a Master of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Michigan. She is a Fulcrum Fellow with the Center for Community Investment, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and LEED Green Associate.