Mary Menell Zients, Board Chair and Founder
Mary Menell Zients, Board Chair, Urban Alliance
Mary Menell Zients
is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa.
She came to the U.S. to attend high school and graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Social Studies in 1985.
She graduated from the London School of Economics with a MSc in Industrial Relations.
Ms. Zients spent four years in strategic management consulting for Fortune 500 companies at Bain and Company in Boston.
moved to Washington, D.C. in 1991, and worked for a number of years on post conflict deployment projects throughout Southern Africa, funded by bilateral and multilateral agencies.
She was Executive Director of the Urban Alliance Foundation, an inner city high school jobs and mentoring program in D.C., for three years after it was established in 1996, and now chairs the board.
She also chaired the board of Women for Women International from 2005 to2012 and continues to sit on the Executive Committee of the Board.
WfWI has served over 300,000 women survivors of wars in eight countries around the world since 1993, helping them to move from victims to survivors to economically self-sufficient, active citizens.
In addition, Ms. Zients is a founding board member of City Year South Africa, a youth service community program and is currently still a board member.
Ms. Zients also serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. effort to establish the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Johannesburg.
She also serves on the board of the Maret School.
currently lives in Washington with her
husband Jeff and their four children.