Heidi Nel

Executive Director, FORWARD IMPACT

With nearly two decades working in entertainment, advocacy, and strategic communications, Heidi Nel is a leader in the social impact field, with unique insight and expertise in advancing cultural and policy change through stories and film. She serves as the Executive Director of FORWARD IMPACT, and is the Head of Raben Impact Entertainment, a division of The Raben Group.

Heidi has developed impact strategy and led successful engagement campaigns tied to award-winning films and TV shows, such as Batkid Begins, The Best of Enemies, Food Chains, The Human Experiment, The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War, Just Mercy, One Day at a Time, The Return, Racing Extinction, and The Rape of Recy Taylor. Her issue-area expertise includes criminal justice reform, immigration, sexual assault, and gender and racial equity.

She has guest lectured at Boston University, George Washington University, and was an adjunct instructor at Duke University in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She has been featured in Variety, Forbes, Real Screen, Screen Daily, Washington Life Magazine, and HuffPost. She 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.Heidi studied Modern Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is based in Washington, D.C.