RedThread Advisors was founded by Rachel Cardone in 2014. Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked in non-profits (leadership & board positions), provided consulting services to public / private / non-profit agencies, and worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where I helped create the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program. There, I built and managed a portfolio that is transforming how WS&H services are conceived, financed, and sustained around the world. I have an MPA from Columbia University, and graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan (BA in History/Anthro).

Over the years I’ve worked, collaborated, and met amazing people with diverse skill sets and strengths who form a RedThread Network (in keeping with the Chinese proverb, whether they know it yet or not!). As part of client services work, I’ll build a great team to meet your needs.


“Few people in the development sector have the swift mind, direct approach, good humor, rich experience and deep exposure that Rachel does. In isolation, any of those can be found; in twos or threes, maybe; but in combination it is a rare find, indeed. Splash has benefitted greatly from Rachel and RedThread’s unique approach and perspective.” – Eric Stowe, Founder and CEO, SPLASH

“Rachel’s astute observations have been key in helping Global Women’s Water Initiative identify the gaps in our program structure. Her razor sharp advice has guided GWWI in strengthening as well as deepening our work in ways that have helped our program rise to the next level. She sees the big picture and is always looking out for opportunities to connect GWWI to potential partners, not only to advance our work, but to regenerate the WASH sector. Like water she fills every crevice and shapes the landscape wherever she flows.” – Gemma Boulos, Singer/Social Entrepreneur/Storyteller, Global Women’s Water Initiative

“Rachel has … played a significant and profound support role that has fundamentally improved our work in the field. Rachel engages as a true partner, is unique in her ability to take complex issues and link them with what others are doing inside and outside the water/sanitation sector, and who constantly works to make us a better organization … She is, quite simply, the first person I call when I am looking for support and guidance. A real pleasure to work with, a huge asset to any organization” – Ned Breslin, CEO Water for People

“Rachel is constantly thinking out of the box and connecting people and ideas. Her network all over the world in the water and sanitation sector and beyond is one of her great assets. She can spot good ideas and the people to take them forward. She also possesses very strong analytical and writing skills on areas related with finance, management, monitoring and innovative aspects of the water and sanitation sector.” – Catarina Fonseca, Head International and Innovation Program, IRC