The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Sejal Desai

Sejal Desai

Sejal Desai
MBA '99

Business Engagement Director
Communities Foundation of Texas

Sejal Desai leads CFT For Business, an initiative of the Communities Foundation of Texas. In her role, she has worked with more than 300 companies across North Texas to engage them with the community through strategic philanthropic consulting and community engagement.

Desai is also the Founder of SevaYatra, a social venture that offers short-term service project opportunities at non-governmental organizations in India. Desai was previously a principal at MHT Partners, a boutique investment bank based in Dallas where she worked on cross-border merger and acquisitions primarily between U.S. and Indian companies. She was also a co-founder and principal of STARTech Early Ventures, a seed stage venture firm, that invested in early stage technology ventures in Texas. She also led various entrepreneurial education and training efforts as chief executive officer of STARTech Foundation, a sister organization of STARTech Early Ventures. In addition to STARTech, Desai also co-founded and sold a hands-on science education business, Mad Science of Denton County. Prior to her work in the U.S., Desai served as a manager in the corporate advisory services division for Ernst & Young in Mumbai, India where she worked on various foreign inward investment projects, valuation and due diligence studies. She began her career at D.J. Shukla & Co., where she handled personal taxes and conducted audits for domestic corporations.

Through her career, Desai has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and 35 venture-backed companies and investors. She also has extensive working knowledge of the philanthropic community in India and the US. Desai is an active volunteer in the community and is often found with her family, friends and colleagues at Hunger Busters, North Texas Food Bank, The StewPot Second Chance Café, Minnie’s Food Pantry and more.

She is the recipient of the Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women of the Southwest. She serves on the boards of Trusted World and talkSTEM, and North Texas Food Bank’s Indo American Council. Desai is a co-founder of the Orchid Giving Circle and Be the Change South Asian Youth Giving Circle. Desai has previously served on the boards of The Dallas Assembly, DFW South Asian Film Festival, thinkIndia Foundation, Texans Credit Union and On-Target Supplies & Logistics Inc. She is a graduate of Leadership Richardson and a fellow of the OpEd Project.

Desai holds a Master in Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University. She has a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Dallas and she is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Desai lives in Dallas with her husband, Hemang, and two children, Mohan and Maya.