Otho Kerr is the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Impact Investing of the Community and Outreach Unit of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Otho is charged with catalyzing capital providers to invest in creating more opportunities for those facing poverty and/or structural disparities related to race or ethnicity, and for inspiring capital providers to act by engaging them on key insights and providing compelling investment opportunities related to the Unit's work. The Unit has identified three areas of focus for its work: 1) economic drivers of health and wellbeing; 2) mitigation of climate-related risk in low- and moderate-income communities; and 3) household financial stability and economic resiliency.
Prior to joining the Bank, Otho was the Chief Investment Officer for Acumen, an impact investment firm that invests in early-stage companies whose products and services enable the poor to transform their lives. Otho oversaw Acumen's global investment process, the measurement of the impact of its work and the development of insights and learnings. Prior to Acumen, Otho was a founding partner with Encourage Capital. Encourage is a research-driven, solutions-oriented impact investment firm that seeks to leverage private capital to solve critical environmental and social problems.
Otho has worked in investment banking and asset management for over thirty years, having begun with Goldman Sachs & Co. He began his professional career as an attorney with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, a leading global law firm. Otho received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1979, where he received the Barrett Cup, which is given to the outstanding senior, and a JD from The Harvard Law School in 1982, from which he graduated with honors. Otho was the first member of his class to receive the Dartmouth Alumni Award, given annually to a Dartmouth graduate who has "demonstrated extraordinary service to Dartmouth and civic organizations in addition to career accomplishment."
Throughout his career, Otho has sought to merge his professional career with his interest in social justice. Otho was a co-founder of the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship in Harlem and a fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation's Next Generation Leadership Program. He was the first African-American President of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, including the Dartmouth Tucker Foundation (served as chair), Trinity Church Solebury, PA (served as senior warden), Freedom to Marry, Empire State Pride Agenda, Hetrick-Martin Institute and Volunteers of America New York. He serves on the National Academy of Medicine's Culture of Health Advisory Committee and is an active participant in and contributor to Denmark's Creative Business Network and its Creative Business Cup competition.