Zainab Chaudary, Principal at New Heights Communications, has spent the last decade crafting communications strategies for progressive, social change organizations. Her work has shifted public narratives and perceptions, achieved policy wins, built momentum around high profile litigation fights, promoted political thought leadership, and helped foundations innovate to improve how philanthropy serves the world. This cross-sector experience is in service to an overarching goal: to combine informed strategy with an authentic vision of what a truly just and equitable world could be, in order to achieve real change for the people living in that world.
In her work, Zainab merges the creative with the concrete. She uses her knowledge of data, cognitive linguistics, and the science behind how people think to build big picture strategies and execute tactics that persuade people to act.
Zainab comes to New Heights from the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice, where she served as the Communications Director. She founded her own consulting firm, Big Canvas PR, to create strong communications infrastructure for non-profit organizations on the cusp of developing an internal communications team, and to provide training and coaching to grantees of major foundations. Prior to that, she served as Managing Director at Megaphone Strategies, and Senior Media Associate at ReThink Media, where she worked with coalitions advocating for issues at the intersection of national security and civil liberties.
Alongside her strategic thinking, Zainab is well-versed in tactics and execution. She has placed stories and opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today (among others), facilitated reporter relationships at outlets ranging from Buzzfeed News to CNN to the Wall Street Journal, negotiated regular contributorships at major news outlets to elevate thought leadership, pitched and prepared clients for television appearances on ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, and created and leveraged multiple viral social media campaigns. An expert trainer, Zainab has coached and trained spokespeople around the country for organizations like MoveOn, CREDO, the ACLU, Indivisible, and numerous others. She is also deeply invested in developing communications talent amongst people of color and those from diverse backgrounds and elevating them to leadership positions through a responsive DEI framework.
A graduate of Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in Germany, Zainab is a 2022 fellow of Anat Shenker-Osorio’s Global Messaging Programme. She lives just outside of Washington DC with her husband and two sons.
Fun Fact: Zainab is a social psychology nerd, and has utilized her knowledge of human behavior both in interacting with political luminaries and when trying to convince her sons (ages 4 and 2) to eat their broccoli.
ZAINAB IN ACTION