Heidi Nel

Principal & Head of Impact Entertainment


Heidi Nel is a social impact strategist and producer. As the head of The Raben Group’s Impact Entertainment division, she provides pro-social consultation to leaders in media, entertainment, and philanthropy, including the American Film Institute, Beachside Films, The Fledgling Fund, Fuse Media, Google, One Community, PBS, Peabody Awards and Media Center, Sony Pictures TV, STX Entertainment, and YouTube, as well as independent artists, filmmakers, and change makers.

With nearly two decades working in entertainment, advocacy, strategic communications, and public engagement, Heidi is a leader in the social impact field, with unique insight and expertise in advancing cultural and policy change through stories and film.

Prior to joining Raben, Heidi was a partner at Picture Motion where she led the Washington, D.C. office. She began her career at Ghost House Pictures where she co-produced an original web and TV mini-series for Comcast, and managed marketing at Lionsgate for Grindstone Entertainment films.

Heidi has developed impact strategy and led successful engagement campaigns tied to award-winning films, such as Batkid Begins, The Best of Enemies, Food Chains, Happening, The Human Experiment, The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War, Newtown, 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 American University, Boston University, and George Washington University, and was an adjunct instructor at Duke University in the Sanford School of Public Policy. She has been featured in Variety, 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.

Originally from South Africa, Heidi grew up in Colorado and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she majored in modern dance. She is a certified barre instructor and teaches in Alexandria, VA, where she lives with her husband and dog.