Rachel is a youth activist and social entrepreneur 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 and advocating for them. In her most recent effort as the Foundations Partnerships Consultant for UNICEF USA, Rachel supported a $300 million portfolio by working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and UN Foundation, among others, directly to advance UNICEF’s role in mutual efforts to achieve global public health, climate action, gender equality and innovation impact for safeguarding children’s and youth rights worldwide.
In May 2023, Rachel was selected to become a Visiting Associate of the Policy & Practice at the University of Notre Dame, where she received her MS in Global Health. In this role, she is collaborating with faculty members at the Pulte Institute for Global Development to establish a strategy for implementing legislation that commits the United States to support the SDGs by building local capacity for data systems that measure progress towards meeting the Goals. In her social entrepreneurial pursuits, Rachel co-founded the youth organization Global Futurist Initiative™, founded the Project Energy for Life Cameroon consortium, and co-founded the start-up consulting practice Protea Consulting, LLC. 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 Indiana, Rachel received her BS in Chemistry and MBA from Purdue University in addition to her Master's degree. 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 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:
At the height of the UN General Assembly, I was featured on the Global Health Pursuit podcast with Hetal Baman. Questions below include:
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.
Celebrating my 1 year anniversary with UNICEF USA and subsequent farewell was truly sad and very sweet all the same. Working with the Foundation Partnerships team has been incredible from Day 1's welcome to celebrating Global Goals Week, commemorating International Day of the Girl, and so many more critical moments of the year to ensuring we were making tangible impact for safeguarding children's rights, and we have! Most importantly though, I extend my sincerest gratitude to the team for allowing me the gracious opportunity to be part of a world class cadre of individuals who have inspired and pushed me to new heights towards being my best self.
Thank you UNICEF USA, always.
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.
I attended the 2023 United Nations Foundation's United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) Leadership Engagement Summit to advocate to my state representatives in Congress about the need of continued and sustainable US leadership with the United Nations. In collaboration with various actors, I am also set to start a professional UNA-USA chapter in Indiana.
I was recently asked to speak for the Youth Assembly on the panel titled "Education for Employment: What Really Matters in the Real World." A preview to my philosophy is that education is not always about gaining knowledge, but also unlearning. In my experience, the best lessons learned came from undoing what I thought I knew to open new doors for building something better than before.
I was chosen among the top 2.3% of nominations to become an early career distinguished alumna of Purdue University.
The Purdue Rising Professionals program exists to honor distinguished young alumni and inspire Purdue students to discover their Boilermaker experience. Each year, this program recognizes a group of alumni who embody qualifications of extraordinary career and life experiences, well-rounded accomplishments, and great involvement during their time at Purdue.
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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