Mary Menell Zients served as Chair of the Global Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012.
Ms. Zients spent her early career in strategic management consulting for Fortune 500 companies at Bain and Company in Boston. From 1991 to 1999, she worked in Washington, D.C. on post-conflict community development projects throughout Southern Africa, funded by bilateral and multilateral agencies.
Ms. Zients is a founding board member of City Year South Africa, a youth service community program in Johannesburg and also the chair of the committee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund-USA, which mobilizes resources for the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, scheduled to open in 2015. She also serves on the US Advisory Council of the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.
Ms. Zients is a founding member of the Urban Alliance Foundation (UA, 1996) and currently serves as board chair. UA is an inner city high school jobs and mentoring program serving young people in D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago. Ms. Zients was nominated by President Obama to chair the Commission on White House Fellows in December, 2013. In addition, she is the President of the board of Maret School.
Ms. Zients is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. She graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Social Studies in 1985 and received a Master of Science in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics in 1986. She lives with her husband Jeff Zients and their four children in Washington, D.C.