As a high-ranking member of President Bill Clinton's administration, Zina C. Pierre worked on issues and programs affecting the lives of women, African Americans and small business owners. Born in 1964 in Annapolis, Maryland, and educated at Catholic University of America, Pierre is the founding president and CEO of the Washington Linkage Group, a political lobbying and consulting firm.
Early in her career, Pierre worked in television journalism as a writer, field reporter and producer. She then moved into the government following Clinton's inauguration in 1993 as a speechwriter. She worked in the Labor Department as communications director for the Women's Bureau. In that capacity, she developed public relations strategies and campaigns for informing women of their rights in the workplace. This included a ten-city tour for the "Don't Work in the Dark" initiative.
Pierre was appointed to director of the Small Business Administration. She was responsible for the department's "Welfare to Work" initiative, for which she developed partnerships with public and private entities to hire approximately 200,000 former welfare recipients. In 2000, Pierre worked as one of the highest-ranking African American women in the White House, serving as special assistant to the president on intergovernmental affairs. In that role, she served as a presidential liaison to city and county governments across the country, promoting the presidential agenda on a local level. Pierre also worked to bridge the "digital divide" by making technology accessible to people from low-income backgrounds.
After leaving the White House, Pierre started the Washington Linkage Group. She also served as director of the National Council of Black Mayors Corporate Advisory Council, and as vice chairperson of the Future PAC, a national African American women's political action committee. Pierre is frequently sought out for her views on women's issues and politics, and is the recipient of many awards and commendations. She is an associate pastor at her childhood church in Annapolis and is working on a master's degree in divinity.