Nicole Banister, award-winning TV Show Host and Global Presenter, has joined the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Board of Directors. Nicole leverages media to amplify the voices of the world’s most dynamic young change-makers combining her international development background and social media prowess in the entertainment industry. She is the recipient of the Peace Corps’ 2023 Franklin H. Williams Emerging Leader Award, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa from 2013-2016.
Nicole spent the first decade of her career working in international development and global partnerships. During her Peace Corps service in South Africa, she taught English and Life Skills classes to primary school students, and hosted various extracurricular activities centering literacy, youth empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health. She extended her service for a third year, transferring from the Limpopo province of South Africa to Cape Town, and has been based in Cape Town nearly ever since. Nicole later managed global partnerships for a civil society organization and was selected as a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellow.
From Development to Disruption
Nicole pivoted from the nonprofit sector to entertainment in hopes of facilitating high-impact international dialogue on her own terms. “I was frustrated with the bureaucracy and hierarchy of the global development complex. My shift to media has allowed me to use my authentic voice to highlight critical issues and elevate the important work of artists and entertainers across the globe,” Banister states.
Nicole launched NIKKI BANZ LIVE in 2021, a weekly celebrity interview series on IGTV. NIKKI BANZ LIVE boasts 90+ guests from 35 countries with over 500K views online. In 2022, she was tapped to host Start It Up, a program featuring student entrepreneurs looking to expand their social impact businesses. The YouTube series is now entering its third season with over 10 million views. In addition to hosting these shows, Banister works closely with clients around the world to execute conferences, panels, and workshops.
When asked about joining the Museum Banister shares, “I am beyond thrilled to be joining the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience Board of Directors. We have an unparalleled opportunity to shape how and where the stories of Peace Corps are told, and by whom, for centuries to come.” You can find Nicole Banister on Instagram, LinkedIn, andYouTube.