Rachel is a young leader with a history of supporting efforts to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to 100+ projects with 112 organizations across 35 countries. Rachel’s enthusiasm for the SDGs is second only to the causes she cares about within the Goals’ scope. In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Rachel founded the SDG advocacy youth organization Global Futurist Initiative™, the community development consortium Project Energy for Life Cameroon, and her consulting practice. Through consulting, she has worked for institutions such as Sesame Workshop, Johnson & Johnson, Fashion Community Foundation, and Friends of the Global Fund U.S. to foster strategic partnerships for advancing their SDG-aligned objectives. In one of her recent effort as the Foundations Partnerships Consultant for UNICEF USA, Rachel supported a $242 million portfolio by working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and UN Foundation, among others, to align on safeguarding children’s and youth rights worldwide.
Rachel has held appointments that have also enabled her to promote the SDGs including the IMF, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Foreign Policy for America, AFS Youth Assembly, and United Nations Association of the USA. Rachel currently holds a Visiting Associateship of Policy & Practice at the University of Notre Dame Pulte Institute for Global Development where she is conducting U.S. policy research on the SDGs. Receiving numerous appointments and 31 awards, Rachel is a sought-out speaker and actively contributes to publications on matters concerning youth, sustainable development and human rights.
Born and raised in Northwest Indiana (colloquially referred to as The Region), Rachel received her BS in Chemistry and MBA from Purdue University as well as a MS in Global Health from the University Notre Dame. Receiving the 2023 Purdue Rising Professional honor as a Distinguished Alumna, she is becoming one of Purdue University’s most decorated young alumni with over 10 honors and scholarships throughout her Boilermaker journey.
Small-scale innovations to reduce energy poverty
Prioritizing youth issues in the SDGs
Convening youth to achieve the United Nations SDGs
Mobilizing resources for sustainable good
I was recently admitted to the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs MPA in Environmental Science and Policy Program. Admission rate is 5.8% and I was also awarded a fellowship as a SIPA Environmental Fellow.
I was invited to be part of the Major Group for Children and Youth consultations for the United Nations Summit of the Future alongside the Youth for Future Working Group. I predominantly focused on Section 4. Youth and Future Generations, commenting on both the general phrasing as well as made contributions to the wording of each applicable point, which are 15-18 outlined.
I was recently asked to support the Welcome Sesame program with the impact of support families and children affected by crisis. This initiative works on delivering early childhood development (ECD) in fragile contexts, highlighting the needs of children as well as caregivers. Visit their website below for more information
As part of a listening tour by AmeriCorps and The White House, I spoke in support of embracing the SDGs as an integral part of the program to strengthen U.S. global leadership. Three recommendations were made arising from this theme which include leveraging data, co-branding, and academia in support of this mission. My full statement can be read below.
This was my first time participating in a United Nations consultation where I spoke on behalf of Global Futurist Initiative. This consultation session was for Youth and Indigenous groups on the Summit of the Future. It was very humbling and exciting to see so many youth rising to the occasion to safeguard future generations through their voices. Additionally, UN Youth Delegate of Switzerland Arlinda Ramqaj spoke on behalf of our Informal Youth Working Group community of 300 young leaders representing 75 countries.
I was selected to be in the 2023-24 cohort of the Global Goals Ambassadors program. The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) provides members with an opportunity to take their passion for one of the 17 SDGs and leverage it to create programming and communications to raise awareness and work to advance the Goals.
During this year-long fellowship, I will work alongside UNA-USA staff and other volunteer leaders to promote the SDGs through various content creations, attendance and representation at events, and other collaborative programming.
Key highlights from my latest op-ed include the following:
I was invited to guest lecture for UIC's Global Health Challenges course to share insights on socio-political and economic influences affecting the way global health is perceived and how it translates into investments and public policy. This lecture aims to bridge academia with practice by learning how to use the Foreign Assistance Government budget tracker dashboard and state-level fact sheets that show how each state is shaped by global development in terms of trade, jobs, and studying abroad.
I was selected as one of six finalists to compete for the AFS Young Global Citizen Award sponsored by DHL and presented by AFS Intercultural Programs. The AFS Award for Young Global Citizens recognizes young people for their commitment to improving the global community and whose actions contribute to a more just, peaceful, and tolerant world. The Award will be awarded to a Youth Assembly delegate who demonstrates how their project is successfully addressing a pressing global issue, tackling one or more of the challenges outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and what this translates into in real-life impacts.
The Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations was the lead endorser for the celebration of International Youth Day on August 11, 2023. The International Youth Day celebration took place at the UN with 800 young leaders and participants from around the world in attendance. The AFS Youth Assembly Delegates were included in the celebration of International Youth Day at the UN.
I was recently selected to join the Pulte Institute's Policy and Practice Visiting Associates Program to collaborate on addressing today's most compelling global issues. Visiting Associates can visit campus or participate in a variable-length hybrid residency, which includes a short campus visit. Visiting Associates works with the Pulte Institute to write evidence-based, strategic publications to positively influence global development policy and practice. My work will focus on H.Res.30 Supporting the United Nations SDGs.
As part of the US Global Leadership Coalition’s Global Impact Forum, I was back on Capitol Hill just two days after my first visit on behalf of UNA-USA to support a strong commitment to maintaining the international affairs budget as a matter of national security, economic prosperity, and strong leadership on the global stage. Pictured right is alongside me, my team of Indiana-based advocates who traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with state representatives in the House and Senate.
Learn what metrics of success I use to communicate an initiative's efficacy.
Always advocating for a cause, listen to efforts I support and speak out about.
See the programs my experience as a leader has enabled me to implement.
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