Vanessa Wakeman

Founder & CEO | The Wakeman Agency


Vanessa Wakeman is a bold visionary and influential futurist in the world of social change. Since launching the social change firm The Wakeman Agency in 2003, she has been recognized as a champion for nonprofits and progressive organizations. Her deep knowledge about the politics of social change, and mastery at advancing the efforts of nonprofits, has made her a trusted advisor to organizations around the country.

Vanessa has spent more than a decade as an advisor, counseling organizations on approaches to generate revenue and build influence for mission-driven causes. She provides powerful insights into the challenges facing the nonprofit community, identifying opportunities to leverage their social capital and the emotional pulse of stakeholders, to drive change.

Recently, Vanessa has focused her efforts on creating opportunities for equity for women in the nonprofit sector through She Roars, the first thought leadership program for women in social change.

She has served as chief strategist and masterminded campaigns for U.C.L.A.’s Civil Rights Project, Metropolitan College of New York, YWCA-NYC, New York Urban League, Africa- America Institute, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Animal Farm Foundation, Help for Children and many others. She was named one of “50 PR Game Changers” by PR News and a “Champion of PR” by PRWeek.

Vanessa shares her insights through writing, speaking and her podcast, The Social Change Diaries.