Rachel Roberts-Pickett

Rachel Roberts-Pickett

'05 MPA/'06 MAIR
Vice President of Strategic Operations 
Red Leaf Investments, LLC

Rachel Roberts-Pickett is Vice President of Strategic Operations for the real estate development firm Red Leaf Investments, LLC. Rachel received a BA in Mass Communication from Texas State University at San Marcos in 1998. In 2005 she received an MPA from Maxwell, and in 2006 she received an MAIR. She is originally from Corsicana, TX, but currently lives in Dallas, TX with her husband Steve. In 2011, the couple had a baby boy, Syeed. “Syeed enthusiastically runs the Pickett household, and I can say with great joy he has turned our lives upside down,” Rachel says.

Rachel is responsible for project and financial management services for Red Leaf Investments and its latest acquisition, the Diamond Oaks Country Club. Most of Rachel’s days are filled with development and review of club financials and member reports as well as managing the final phase of a $2.5 million course and clubhouse renovation project. However, the passage of the Affordable Care Act meant months of policy analysis, studying all the possible implications of the law on the country club’s employees and overall business operations. In her spare time, Rachel serves on the board of a New Orleans based 501(c)(3) nonprofit SISTAWorks, Inc., which provides educational and entrepreneurship opportunities to girls and women in Ghana, West Africa. Prior to Red Leaf, Rachel was a management consultant for the public sector consulting firm Hagerty Consulting, carrying out post-Hurricane Katrina community redevelopment work in New Orleans, LA, and on the gulf coast of Mississippi for seven years.

“My time at Maxwell shaped the woman I am today,” Rachel says. “The exposure to students from all over the world with different perspectives from my own allowed me to expand my own previously narrow thoughts and prepared me to analyze challenges from numerous angles and welcome different approaches to problem solving.” Rachel's favorite aspect of her studies at the Maxwell School was the diversity of the student population and the variety of experiences each student brought to the school. Among her favorite Maxwell professors were David Richardson, Jeremy Shiffman, Beverley Mullings, John Mathiason and S.N. Sangmpam. She especially appreciated their unique teaching styles and passion for their subject matters. While at Maxwell Rachel worked as a graduate sssistant in the Maxwell Communications Office and as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of African American Studies.

“My advice for current students, especially those who haven't been in school for a while, is to find a study partner ASAP and use your previous professional experiences to enhance your academic experience,” she says. “Having a frame of reference from the real world often proved invaluable for me.”