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Heitman Appoints New Chief Diversity Officer to Lead Global DEI for the Firm


Chicago, July 18, 2022 Heitman LLC (“Heitman”), a global real estate investment management firm, is pleased to announce that Rachna Velamati has rejoined the firm and will serve as Chief Diversity Officer. In her new role, Velamati will be responsible for advancing Heitman’s inclusion and equity strategies in support of continuing to foster the firm’s strong culture of belonging and collaboration. Velamati will serve as a member of the firm’s Global Management Committee and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Council.


“Maintaining and cultivating our global work environment and culture is a priority that we work on each day. Our goal is to foster an inclusive and equitable environment that is admired across the real estate investment industry. Doing so creates an environment that we believe assists us all in achieving our potential while attracting and retaining the high caliber professionals we require to remain competitive and support our clients,” said Maury Tognarelli, Heitman CEO. “Rachna’s return to Heitman exemplifies the influence our favorable environment can have on talent decisions and we are pleased to welcome Rachna back to Heitman.”

At Heitman, Rachna previously served as a Vice President where she led the firm’s global recruitment efforts, was a member of the global DEI council, and co-led the DEI function within the Human Resources group. In her former role, she placed significant focus on building partnerships with a variety of organizations, expanding our reach to underrepresented candidates, and redesigning our internship program to become a pipeline of diverse talent.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rachna back to Heitman. During her prior tenure, she played an integral role both within HR and across the firm helping guide our DEI strategy,” said Darrah Bixler, Heitman Chief People Officer. “We continue to focus on creating a culture where individuals feel welcome and heard and where diversity of thought and experiences is celebrated. I look forward to partnering with Rachna to further enhance our inclusive culture, and hone our holistic approach to DEI globally.”

Following her role leading Heitman’s talent acquisition function, Rachna was a Vice President at Nuveen leading their Inclusion, Diversity & Equity efforts and served as the subject matter expert to business leaders and employees on all aspects of Inclusion and Diversity. While in this role, she developed and executed Nuveen’s D&I strategy, created a scorecard inclusive of DEI metrics to track progress, identify opportunities, and utilize as a coaching tool for leaders on continued success, and launched a Culture and Inclusion Council focused on cultivating a collaborative culture and promoting DEI values.

“I’m thrilled to return to Heitman and lead the important work on inclusion and equity and continue to build upon the success the team has achieved over the past several years,” said Rachna Velamati, Heitman Chief Diversity Officer. “Heitman was early to recognize the importance of diverse perspectives and inclusive practices, and I’m excited to now return to lead the firm’s DEI journey as we look to continue to be an industry leader in this important area of opportunity for the firm and industry overall.”

Rachna received her BS in Financial Counseling & Planning from Purdue University and she has a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University.