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Brown University
B.A. in Urban Studies
Columbia University 
M.S. in Real Estate Development 


Gotham Urban Ventures
Founder & CEO
Gotham Partners
Principal & Co-Founder
Chair of the Board of Trustees
SEED School of DC
Founding Director
City First Bank of DC
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US General Services Administration 
Presidential Appointee​
Gotham Development
Founder & CEO
WC Smith & Co
Senior Vice President

A real estate veteran with over 25 years of experience, Desa has developed commercial, mixed use and residential projects.

Beginning her career in community development, Desa led the transformation of long- vacant parcels in the riot-scarred 14th Street corridor, laying the foundation for its subsequent rebirth. In the private sector, she addressed similar issues at-scale, developing over $60 Million of affordable housing and mixed-use development. In the Public Sector, Desa served as Project Executive for complex, high profile developments. Currently through Gotham, she works with private, municipal and nonprofit clients to maximize the value and efficacy of their real estate holdings, increasing savings and generating additional revenues. 
Desa is a former Obama appointee with the Public Building Service of the US General Services Administration. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University and a M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University. She serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the SEED School of DC and is a founding Director of City First Bank of DC.
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