With a practice spanning almost two decades, Raquel Wilson is an outspoken advocate for more equitable and sustainable communities. She is CEO of the Wesley Group, a global advisory that helps organizations align economic growth with environmental and social wellbeing, and co-founder of Gather, a leadership accelerator for women disrupting the world.A former Diplomat with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Raquel steered the deployment of the first online platform for monitoring hate crimes. As a Strategic Communication Advisor with Speak Up Africa, she helped Senegal's National Office of Sanitation increase visibility for infrastructure investment.She has provided communications support to the African Development Bank's Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund and, as part of the Bank's External Relations and Communications Department, led social media strategy for the organization's Africa Climate Summit, Africa Investment Forum and African Development Fund replenishment campaigns.Specializing in assisting organizations in developing communication strategies that both inform and inspire behavior change, Raquel contributed to the Federal Government of Somalia's reconciliation efforts as Head of Strategic Communications for the Somalia Stabilization Initiative, producing a USAID-funded radio program that connected women in rural areas of Somalia to government services and a 5-part video series highlighting "Everyday Heroes" in local governance, education, and youth activism.For IOM Somalia, she drafted a COVID-19 fundraising campaign targeting the Somali diaspora, and since 2006, has remained on UNICEF's global consultant roster, providing digital and strategic communications for offices across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Dakar Farmers Market, Raquel created a community-focused approach to promoting economic growth for local food producers–generating more than $25,000 in monthly vendor revenue for the one-day event.A founding member of Slow Food International's Dakar community, she joined the official Senegalese delegation to Terra Madre 2016, a biennial convening of global food actors working to establish clean and fair food systems.The Co-Editor of No Tees Please: Why Africa Aid Campaigns #FAIL, a crowdsourced inquiry into the practices of inventing disadvantageous aid campaigns, Raquel managed Social Media Week Lagos' #55FORWARD initiative, bringing together ambassadors from fifty-five African nations to discuss how they use social media to meet the needs of a rapidly increasing youth population.She was Co-Founder of Jetstream Africa, a supply chain platform simplifying export logistics for African suppliers, and as a Venture Partner at Roselake Ventures, identified and evaluated high-potential African startups. Raquel also advised technology startups with the pan-African accelerator MEST Africa, preparing emerging entrepreneurs for investment.Currently, an MBA candidate specializing in strategy and sustainability at Imperial College London, Raquel is an alumna of Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in New Media and completed the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's training for African Women Investors.Renowned for building strong, resilient communities, Raquel is committed to introducing more diverse voices into culturally considerate climate conversations and mentors young women in discovering themselves unapologetically.