Skip to main content
Leading Global Futurist Speakers & Foresight Strategists
Dr. Claire Nelson,  Woman Futurist Speaker
ABOUT US_ Leading Futurist Consultants and Speakers
Strategic Foresight Workshops & Training
Speaking, Strategic Foresight, Scenario Planning and Sustainability Engineering
Global Development Futures 2030
 Caribbean Futures  Strategic Foresight in the Caribbean
Diverse Futures Communities of Practices
Polling Booth
Members of The Futures Forum Expert Team
Futures Barometer and more
Futurist Black Woman Speaker
Dr. Claire Nelson Videos

Dr. Claire A. Nelson

Futurist, Sustainability  Engineer,  Social Entrepreneur, Storyteller

White House Champion of Change

Dr. Claire Nelson is the Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum, a thought leadership practice which promotes and conducts strategic foresight and integral development consulting, with a particular interest in global challenges.  She is also Ideation Leader and  President of the Board for  Development Foresight Institute, a  think-do tank based in the Caribbean.  

Since joining the ranks of futurists in 2006, she has convened/facilitated several public fora on strategic foresight including Caribbean Vision 2020; the inaugural Youth Forum of the World Future Society; the African Futures Program of the  African American Unity Caucus (AAUC), and a Special Youth Dialogue on the Future at the Inter-American Development Bank.  She is a Member of the International Editorial Board of the World Future Society, as well a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.  



Dr. Nelson has been actively engaged in the business of international development for over  thirty years at the Inter-American Development Bank, amassing experience in portfolio identification as well as the ideation and development of technical assistance programs across a wide variety of sectors including public sector modernization, private sector development, community development, and trade development. 

The first female engineer of African descent hired by the IDB, Dr. Nelson was a diversity pioneer and a thought leader serving to initiate many programs such as the Bank's work in the private sector of  Guyana and the hinterlands of Suriname, intellectual property in the Caribbean, strategic foresight in development; and development with equity for Blacks in Latin America.

She served as Vice President of the 2,000+ member Staff Association, and initiated the first TEDxIDB, as well as staff enhancement activities 'Peak Performance Protocols'.   A trailblazer, she was honored with the IDB's prestigious Ortiz Mena Award for placing the topic of social exclusion due to race and ethnicity on the agenda of the Washington international finance institutions.

As a result of her pioneering work on development with equity for Blacks in Latin America, Nelson was invited to the prestigious Salzburg Seminar four times including serving as Faculty at the Session on Leadership Across Cultural Boundaries and Geographic Borders in 2003.   She was named a Fellow at the  Bellagio Consultation on the UN World Conference on Racism (UNWCAR), organized by Global Rights, which brought together 40 global leaders to construct a vision for the outcomes of the UNWCAR.   


She is a performance artiste, storyteller and the award-winning playwright, of the  hit comedy "Resident Alien".  

Dr. Nelson speaking engagements have included organizations such as:

World Future Society
Jamaica Stock Exchange
Private Sector Organizarion of Jamaica
United Nations World Conference on Racism
American Association of Blacks in Energy
Women International Research in Engineering Summit
CARICOM /Africa Union Conference in Barbados
World Bank African Diaspora Outreach Forum

National Association of Security Professionals
Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference
Black Engineer of the Year Conference
Harvard University Black MBA Association Conference
Women & Micro-Enterprise Conference, African Development Bank (Ivory Coast)
Morgan State University Convocation
High Commission of South Africa (Ottawa)
South Carolina State University
Florida International University
Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce


Dr. Nelson has been featured in newspapers in the Caribbean, and has been interviewed on radio and TV programs in both Jamaica and the US including The Roland Martin Show;  Morning Edition on  NPR;  and THE AFRICA CHANNEL.


Dr. Nelson is also Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS).  Under her leadership, the non-profit community think/do-tank, founded in 1993, has become known as the leading Caribbean American advocacy group in Washington DC and has succeeded in placing the Caribbean American agenda on the national policy stage.  

She is the visionary leader behind the successful Campaign to declare June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month.  ICS also pioneered: White House Caribbean American Community Briefings; the Annual Caribbean American Legislative Forum on Capitol Hill; and the Caribbean American Leadership Dialogue: Invest Caribbean which focuses on economic development and investment opportunities in the Caribbean. 

Dr. Nelson has served on numerous Boards and Committees including: US Department of Commerce US/Caribbean Business Development Council; Sustainability Division, Institute of Industrial Engineers; Black Leadership Forum; Commission on Pan-African Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados; Co-Chair, Policy Committee, African American Unity Caucus; Board, Black Professionals in International Affairs; Advisory Board, Caribbean Political Action Committee; and Advisory Board, Renewable Energy Alliance.  She is the winner of numerous Awards and Honors, and has received commendations in the US Congressional Record.


Dr.  Nelson is distinguished as the first Jamaican woman to earn a Doctorate in an Engineering discipline, and graduated in the Top Five of her undergraduate class, and as  the only woman of African descent. 

Dr. Nelson holds a Bachelors and Masters in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Purdue University respectively, and a Doctorate in Engineering Management from the George Washington University.  

She is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Alpha Pi Mu Engineering Honor Societies.

On July 27th, 2012 Dr. Claire Nelson, Futurist and Social Entrepreneur was one of nine leaders, honored as WHITE HOUSE CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE.

Catch program below. 

Site Mailing List 

The Futures Forum
Washington DC
Phone: 202.643.2510