100 Women We Love: Rachel Dearborn
by Kat Long, Jacqueline Frances and Andrew Collins
June 14, 2013

“The ocean gives us life, but few people take time to think about it,” says Rachel Dearborn, the campaign director at Upwell, a nonprofit social media agency with just one client—the ocean. Dearborn crunches an amazing array of data—tweets, Facebook likes, keyword mentions—and designs online campaigns to “make the ocean more famous on the Internet.” Her secret weapons? Photos of adorable sea creatures and clever captions spotlighting issues like oil spills or ocean acidification. Not surprisingly, this “unabashedly goofy” elasmobranch enthusiast grew up near the beach. “Every time I go SCUBA diving, my brain kind of explodes at how much awesomeness is hiding beneath the surface. People have no idea how their actions on land affect the ocean, and I wanted to tell that story.” Before joining Upwell, Dearborn was a communications consultant, designing campaign and branding strategies for nonprofits. “Sometimes it's scary in the professional world, but you gotta be who you are,” she adds. “I'm just as open about being queer as I am about my obsession for sharks. It's not always easy, but my philosophy is that if I want to live in a world where it is, I have to be part of making that world.” -KL

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