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Bina M. Patel, Saathi Founder and CEO 

Bina has worked for more than 25 years to advance social good and justice.


She has extensive experience building and leading collaborative efforts and delights in seeing big ideas take shape in communities. Bina has led strategic initiatives to help communities transform themselves through innovative, inclusive, and sustainable efforts in the areas of asset building, public health, civic engagement, and economic development.


Her projects have included a revitalization of the community-based small business lending market post-2008 recession, an actionable cross-sector civic plan to advance gender equity, mobilizing residents to collaborate on developing solutions to persistent community challenges, and advancing racial equity through addressing structural racism.


She served as Deputy Chief of Staff in City Hall in Chicago, where she was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of programs and policies amounting to over $1 billion in the area of human capital, human services, public health, and community development. Her career spans experience in direct service with community-based organizations, philanthropy, and public policy.

She earned an M.S. in Social Protection Finance (Public Finance & Social Policy) from the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, where her concentration was on Economic and Community Development. She also earned an M.A. from the University of Denver in International Studies with a concentration on Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation.


Bina was selected to participate with the PLACES fellowship through The Funders’ Network, where she engaged with community members and colleagues from across the country to dive into racial, social, and economic justice issues. She regularly invests in continued learning in equity, strategy, and community empowerment. 

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