Raël Nelson James

Director - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Raël Nelson James is Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She leads The Bridgespan Group's commitment to being a firm that reflects the diversity of our clients and their beneficiaries in ways that we believe will translate into deeper relationships, engagement, and insights. She also co-manages our focus on racial equity by supporting us becoming an organization at which all staff and management understand the role of race and racism, how they intersect with our work, and helping each of us feel equipped to apply this understanding to our engagements and organizational culture.

For more information about our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, reach out to Raël via our Contact Us page.

Raël comes to Bridgespan with nearly fifteen years of experience building and facilitating diversity programs; board recruiting; public speaking; leading organizational growth; fundraising; managing programs; planning events; and successfully cultivating and managing relationships.

Prior to Bridgespan, Raël was Director of Recruiting and Diversity at Charter Board Partners (CBP), a D.C.-based company that works to make sure that all kids have access to an excellent school by partnering with charter school boards to offer candidate recruiting and matching as well as personalized coaching; strategic tools and resources; and networking and training opportunities to board chairs, school leaders, and board members. At CBP, Raël facilitated nearly 65 local professionals joining charter school boards. She also directed CBP's commitment to diversify charter school boards and to serve as an organizational model for diversity and inclusion in the charter sector. During her tenure, nearly half of the professionals who joined boards through the CBP network were Black and Latino.

Raël was the first-ever Executive Director of LIFT-D.C., where she expanded the antipoverty organization into the District's bilingual communities and east of the Anacostia River. Raël managed KIPP D.C.'s foundation and corporate relations and served as the Program Director at Operation Understanding D.C., a leadership development and dialogue program for Black and Jewish high school students.

Raël is a native Washingtonian who holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Tufts University.