Rachel Vaz works in Corporate Social Responsibility at the multinational lifestyle brand Cole Haan. There she interacts with suppliers across the globe to promote good working conditions as well as developing new sustainability initiatives inside the company. This fall she was a finalist in the Social Venture Innovation Challenge at the University of New Hampshire, proposing a solution to the housing affordability issue in the state through the creation of eco-friendly tiny home communities, made from repurposed shipping containers. Rachel also serves as a board member at the Freedom Café, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and the commercial exploitation of all people through conscious consumerism, and a market-based approach to funding the movement.
Rachel graduated in 2018 from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in International Business and Economics and minors in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She is passionate about social innovation and social justice and was a Student Fellow at UNH's Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise. In the summer of 2017, Rachel interned with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF)'s program ROC NH, which helps promote long term housing affordability in the state. She spent her senior year of college working with the Carsey School of Public Policy on the Social Sector Franchising Initiative, conducting research how franchising can be used to scale social enterprises. Her focus was on Livelihood Basix, Inc., a micro franchising initiative working with farmer cooperatives in Tanzania.