Vice President of Strategy & Impact

Why Rachel does this work...

I was drawn to the work of THEI for its commitment to breaking cycles of harm and facilitating opportunities for autonomy and self-determination inside prisons. Before joining the THEI team, I had worked in re-entry and as a college and student success counselor to first generation college students, and my passion for this work has always related to helping people have the freedom to self-determine, the access to information to make informed choices, and the support needed to overcome whatever barriers and challenges our systems impose on people. My passion for access to opportunity in prison developed through a Southern context, with a lens of dismantling systemic racism, ending economic exploitation, and breaking generational cycles of harm.


Rachel Zolensky joined THEI in 2016, and is broadly responsible for developing and supporting an integrated vision and systems-level approach that scales THEI’s commitment to disrupting systems of harm. Rachel brings more than ten years experience providing reentry and college access support to individuals experiencing barriers to success.  In 2015 Rachel earned a Master’s degree in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business, and in 2012 she earned her BA in Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity from the University of Southern California.