Senior Editor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

2019 - present

​Senior Editor
Beacon Press

2015 - 2019

Freelance Editor & Writer

2009 - 2015

Adjunct Lecturer
City College of NY



2007 - 2009

Assistant Editor
Viking Penguin

2005 - 2007

Editorial Assistant
Viking Penguin

2003 - 2005

Editorial Assistant

2002 - 2003

Editorial Intern

Atlanta Tribune



Developmental Editing
Line Editing

Manuscript Evaluation

Agent Negotiation



Overall Book Doctoring

Proposal Writing/Editing

Proposal Development


Prior to HMH, Rakia worked remotely from New York City as a senior editor at Boston-based Beacon Press. Strong entrepreneurial instincts and a personable working style led her to develop book ideas from scratch alongside promising writers, and to cultivate a distinctive, "tradier" list for the publishing house. For her innovative and daring work at Beacon, Rakia was honored by Publishers Weekly as a Star Watch honoree in 2018. Her full roster of Beacon authors includes:

Before Beacon, Rakia held editorial positions at HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, and Kensington. She freelanced for six years, as well.

Outside of acquisitions and editing, Rakia has served as an adjunct lecturer at the City College of New York. Her weekly spring-semester course was “Introduction to Publishing.” For three years Rakia tutored writing, English and SAT prep at Upward Bound, an after-school program for disadvantaged teens. Additionally, she volunteered for two years as a writing mentor with the nonprofit organization Girls Write Now.

Rakia is a graduate of
Haverford College and the Columbia Publishing Course, where she was an AOL Time Warner Scholar. Follow her musings on Twitter @rakiathegreat.

Rakia joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) as senior editor in 2019. She acquires upmarket nonfiction about pop culture, politics, the arts, sports, music, fashion, feminism, psychology, media, tech, race, gender, and class. That includes memoir and narrative nonfiction, journalists and thought leaders writing about current events, public intellectuals and culture critics telling the world about itself, biographies of legendary figures, and some history, especially when there are obvious ties to the present day. Rakia also occasionally acquires fiction, where her tastes lean toward diverse, marginalized voices with big, big emotions.