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Rachael Walker

Senior Advisor

About Rachael

Rachael Worthington Walker consults on a wide variety of educational programs and multimedia projects, working regularly with select Ward Circle Strategies’ clients who benefit from her 30 years of experience and her expertise in conceptualizing innovative programs, launching national campaigns, developing meaningful collaborations, and creating original content and curricula.

She is an architect of and the creator of content for the National Education Association’s Read Across America program, helping NEA transition Read Across America from a one-day celebration of reading and Dr. Seuss to a year-round resource to meet the growing need to connect kids of all ages with books where they can see themselves as the heroes of the story, while also showing them that all kinds of people can be the heroes too.

Rachael also works with the education initiatives of WETA, the leading PBS station in the nation’s capital: Reading Rockets, Colorín Colorado,, and Start with a Book, developing and promoting content for educators and parents. As an advisor for the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn initiative from 2011-2020, she was active in the development of new and innovative parent tools, including three award-winning apps.

Her interest in education and in building private-public partnerships to benefit children began with her role as External Relations Officer for Reading Is Fundamental, where she led federal appropriations and authorization efforts and nurtured special relationships with partners such as the National Basketball Association, MetLife, and Nestle USA.

As a consultant for the Glover Park Group and other public affairs firms, Rachael developed strategic partnerships and educational content for Microsoft, World Wildlife Fund, PBS, and the Afterschool Alliance. For Ward Circle Strategies, she developed and helped deliver an outreach strategy for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) “Listen To Your Buds” public service campaign; created life-changing and lifesaving resources for Listos California, the state’s equity outreach campaign for emergency preparedness; and simplified and streamlined COVID-19 guidance materials for schools for the California Department of Public Health.

Career Highlights

  • Partner Relations, WETA Learning Media
  • CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Literacy Advisor
  • Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Metro DC
  • Chief External Relations Consultant, NEA’s Read Across America
  • External Relations Officer, Reading Is Fundamental

3 Fun Facts

  • Though she’s never played a game of soccer and minored in Russian in college, Rachael created Get a Kick Out of Reading/¡Lee y Marca un Golazo! a bilingual literacy campaign with Major League Soccer and the National Education Association.
  • Her DIY passion extends beyond home and garden projects to things like whipping up costumes to transform fourth graders into giant tap-dancing books and making a makeshift “cow” for preschoolers to “milk” from a couple of chairs, a cow print throw, and a latex glove.
  • Rachael will do just about anything to promote children’s literacy—from riding in a blimp with the Cat in the Hat, to assisting the Honorable Stephen Breyer in administering the “Reader’s Oath” to a group of second graders, to dressing up as a cumulus cloud.