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Rachel Unruh Chief of External Affairs

Rachel Unruh

As Chief of External Affairs, Rachel represents National Skills Coalition and its agenda to the public, reaching new audiences that support a national commitment to investing in America’s people. Rachel leads NSC’s public opinion research efforts and is also chief strategist for Voices for Skills, a campaign to mobilize working people, students, teachers, and business leaders to educate policymakers and 2020 candidates about overwhelming public support for a new national investment in skills training. Rachel has written on skills policy, politics, and public opinion and has been a resource to local and national media including The New York TimesWashington PostUSA TodayMSNBC, and The Guardian.

Rachel served as NSC’s Chief of Staff for ten years, leading the development and implementation of NSC’s policy, organizing, advocacy, and communications strategies. Rachel first joined NSC in 2006 to develop and lead Skills2Compete, a national campaign endorsed by hundreds of organizations that made the case for a 21st-century skills guarantee to address the demand for U.S. workers with middle-skill credentials. Replicated in 13 states, the campaign brought jobs that require more than high school, but not a four-year degree to the attention of the American public, policymakers, and the media while helping to inform policy changes at the state and national level.

Prior to joining National Skills Coalition, Rachel served as Director of Community Relations and Senior Policy Associate at Chicago-based Women Employed, a leading national advocate for women's economic advancement. Rachel’s work included policy analysis and advocacy to increase access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income women.

Rachel holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College. She is based in Chicago and Washington, DC.