Raquel is a former Diplomat with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights where she led the deployment of Europe’s first online platform for hate crime monitoring and reporting. She has also worked with the United Nations' migration-focused agency IOM as Head of the Strategic Communications and Media Unit for the USAID-funded Somalia Stabilization Initiative, and contributed to IOM Libya's Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism as Community Engagement and Communications Officer. Raquel supported UNICEF as a Digital Strategy Consultant from 2006-2018 working with headquarters in New York and country offices across West Africa and the Middle East.
A natural problem solver and advocate for inclusive growth, Raquel actively participates in startup ecosystems in the United States and across Africa. She was Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Jetstream Africa, a supply chain platform simplifying export logistics for African suppliers, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Lou Bess? Dakar Farmers Market, where she played a vital role in designing a community-focused approach to promoting economic growth for local producers in Senegal. She has also served as interim Managing Editor for African tech publication TechCabal, is a former fellow at pan-African tech accelerator MEST Africa, lends her branding and communications talents to VC Include, a firm that supports and connects venture capital fund managers, and continues to support technology startups in East and West Africa as an advisor.
Continuously championing clean and fair food systems, Raquel joined the official Senegalese delegation to Terra Madre 2016, a convening of food activists from across the globe and is a founding member of Slow Food International's Dakar chapter.
She is the Co-Editor of No Tees Please: Why Africa Aid Campaigns #FAIL, a crowdsourced inquiry into the practices of inventing disadvantageous aid campaigns; and worked as Campaign Manager for 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.
Raquel currently leads strategic and digital communications for the Youth Entrepreneurship & Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the African Development Bank.
Renowned for connecting people across her expansive network, Raquel is a champion for better cities, works to create new leadership models and mentors young women in discovering themselves unapologetically.