As the Director of Strategic Communications and Network Engagement, J. Rachel Reyes oversees The Opportunity Agenda's external communications efforts to expand the organization's reach, raise its profile and visibility, increase constituent engagement, and deepen relationships across multiple communities. Prior to this role, Rachel served as TOA's digital communications manager and, with her legal training, is versed in communicating law and policy, particularly for digital spaces.
Throughout her career, Rachel has worked to advance human rights and social justice. Prior to joining TOA, she served for seven years as the Director of Communications for the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), a think tank and educational institute devoted to the study of international migration and public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees, and newcomers. Her past professional experience also includes: drafting motions with the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population at the Council of Europe; advocating for refugee and internally displaced women at the United Nations; leading communications strategies to promote legal aid programs in Thailand, Tanzania and Ecuador; supporting research into death penalty sentences in Japan and India; assisting indigent persons living with HIV/AIDS and impoverished domestic violence survivors obtain pro bono legal assistance; and improving online access to news, resources and events surrounding issues of women, peace and security. Rachel is the author of “Deliver Us from our Protectors: Accountability for Violations Committed by Humanitarian Aid Staff against Refugee Women and Children,” published in the summer 2009 edition of the University of San Francisco Law Review.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in rhetoric and classical civilizations from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Arts in international affairs (concentrating on conflict and security and governance and rights) from The New School, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Obsessed with her pup Poe and all cute creatures, she serves on the board of directors for the Sgt. Pepper Lonely Cats Club. Rachel is licensed to practice law in the State of California.