Principal at The Raben Group

Heidi Nel

Heidi Nel is a Principal at The Raben Group where she serves as the Head of the firm’s Impact Entertainment division. She provides pro‐social consultation to leaders in media, entertainment, and philanthropy and some of her clients include the American Film Institute, The Fledgling Fund, One Community, PBS, Sony Pictures TV, and YouTube, as well as independent filmmakers and change makers.

With nearly two decades working in entertainment, advocacy, strategic communications, and public engagement, Heidi is a leader in the social impact field, with unique insight and expertise in advancing cultural and policy change through stories and film. Her issue‐area expertise includes criminal justice reform, immigration, sexual assault, and gender and racial equity.

Prior to joining Raben, Heidi was a Partner at Picture Motion where she led the Washington, D.C. office. She began her career at Ghost House Pictures where she co‐produced an original web and TV mini‐series for Comcast, and managed marketing at Lionsgate for Grindstone Entertainment films. In addition to her work on Just Mercy through the development of the Represent Justice campaign, she has led impact strategy and successful engagement campaigns tied to award‐winning films, such as Batkid Begins, The Best of Enemies, Food Chains, Happening, The Human Experiment, The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War, The Return, Racing Extinction, and The Rape of Recy Taylor.

Heidi has guest lectured at Boston University and the George Washington University, and was an adjunct instructor at Duke University in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She has been featured in Variety, Real Screen, Screen Daily, Washington Life Magazine, and HuffPost; has been recognized by the Case Foundation as a “Millennial Leader to Follow”; and received the Media Impact Award from the PVBLIC Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships. Originally from South Africa, Heidi grew up in Colorado and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she majored in modern dance. She is currently completing the Executive Certificate in Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and dog.