President & CEO of think BIG Strategies, Strategic Advisor and Former Chief of Staff to Mayor Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio. Think big, follow through is the mantra Carla Walker lives by. She is not just an idea person. She has a passion for working on dynamic, game-changing initiatives and she has a reputation for success. She has spearheaded large scale civic engagement and public service initiatives at the local, state, national and international levels for more than 15 years. Her career spans nearly twenty years in the fields of government relations, communications, political strategy, stakeholder engagement and project management. Most notable is her work on creating the U.S. community engagement and advocacy operation for, the non-profit co-founded by global advocate and entertainer Bono.


In 2004, that network encouraged the US Congress to pass the largest increase in funding for Africa in 40 years. As a member of ONE’s 2005 Live8 team, she organized and led a delegation of 100 U.S. advocates to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in the actions leading to unprecedented global commitments at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 Summit. She resurrected that role in 2015, to serve as the Senior Manager and Strategic Advisor for the Africa office spearheading Pan African campaigns towards the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A veteran political strategist, Walker has advised three Mayors, a Caucus of 12 State Senators, held leadership positions in three U.S. Presidential campaigns and has led or advised principles on more than 100 advocacy or candidate campaigns.


In 2010, she launched think BIG strategies, a management consultancy that creates and executes strategic plans that draws on her experience advising leaders in government, non-profit, start up and corporate spheres. An example of the wide range of projects she has facilitated include developing a new audience for a 30 year international educational event, building awareness and understanding of Hispanic issues in an urban municipality, launching a social enterprise that provided jobs and training to recovering addicts and developing a multicultural event for the city to celebrate one of the largest cultural events in the history of her hometown.

She has been recognized for her work in her community with several awards and has a long history of serving on the Board of Directors for local and national not-for-profit organizations.


Career history of advising leaders on strategies to advance policy and change initiatives


Senior level strategist with 15+ years of experience managing project teams to deliver large scale public policy initiatives at local, state, national, and international levels.  Seasoned Advisor to elected leaders in the US and abroad. Extensive project management experience from concept to execution and monitoring. Led or counselled multicultural and cross disciplined teams through 100+ grassroots, candidate, and regional and global advocacy campaigns. Cross sector experience in government, non-profit, social entrepreneur and corporate realms.


Walker’s skills portfolio ranges from Team Coaching & Mentoring, Organizational & Fiscal Management, Program Development & Management, Stakeholder Engagement, Relationship Management, Campaign Development & Management, Institutional Capacity Building, Coalition Building, Legislative Advocacy and Policy Analysis, Political Strategist, Strategic and Crisis Communication and, Strategic Planning and Execution.




Carla D. Walker - Strategic Advisor to the Office of President & CEO

M. Public Administration (Harvard University, 2003); MSc. (University of Florida, 1996); BSc. (University of Cincinnati, 1990)


As CEO and Founder of think BIG Strategies, LLC 2010 - present

Founded hands-on consulting firm to deliver integrated strategic planning services to drive game changing policy initiatives for non-profit, municipal & private sector visionaries.


As Chief of Staff to Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, Ohio 2005 – 2010

Senior advisor to Mayor on economic development, intergovernmental and international affairs & sustainable development initiatives. Led initiative to rebuild city’s global reputation by strengthening Sister City partnerships through strategic Mayoral delegations with community & corporate leaders to and from China, France, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and Ukraine.


As US Deputy Campaign Director at ONE Campaign in Washington, DC 2003 - 2005

Developed citizen advocates in campaign to encourage Congress for development assistance and global health funding. Built the US volunteer footprint and mobilized offline network to deliver the largest Congressional increase for Sub-Saharan African support in 40 years. Conceptualized & oversaw strategy to mobilize local elected officials, media, grassroots, and faith & college leadership to engage Congressional leaders on AGOA, the Millennium Challenge Account, and the Global Fund.


Regional Political Coordinator – Obama for America, Southwest Ohio 2008

Research Assistant – International Network of Women Ministers of the Environment – Cambridge, Massachusetts 2003

Finance Director – Ohio Senate Leadership Caucus – Columbus, OH 2001 2002

Regional Director – Gore/Lieberman Presidential Campaign – Cincinnati, OH 2000

Executive Director – Hamilton County Democratic Party – Cincinnati, OH 1999 – 2001

Communications Director – Mayor Roxanne Qualls - Cincinnati, OH 1997 - 1999


Vehr Communications SAGE - Strategic Advisors, Gurus and Experts –Team (2014, 2015)

Mandela Washington Fellowship Application Reader (2013, 2014, 2015)

US Global Leadership Coalition – Ohio Member (2012-2014)

Sister Cities International – Board Member (2009-2014)

Bad Girl Ventures – Board Member and Advisory Board Member (2010-2014)

M. Public Administration (Harvard University, 2003); MSc. (University of Florida, 1996); BSc. (University of Cincinnati, 1990)


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1. On 11 February 2016 - Carla D. Walker, appointed as Strategic Advisor to the President & CEO, Pretoria, South Africa.





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