Nzinga Shaw: 40 Under 40 2014

Secretary, Board of Directors of the National Black Public Relations Society
Age: 34

A true champion for diversity in the PR industry, Nzinga Shaw is currently serving a two-year term as secretary on the board of directors of the National Black Public Relations Society.

In that role, she has spearheaded numerous programs to develop the talent of ethnic minority individuals in the industry.

Despite being the youngest member of the board, she has helped the 300-member organization go from strength to strength and secure sponsorship and funds. In 2013, Shaw exceeded her fundraising goals for the society by 200% and was responsible for more than 60% of the organization’s income.

Not only has she served as an advocate for black professionals in the wider industry, she has also been a pioneer and leader within her own firm – Edelman.

She joined the agency as VP of HR in its New York office, but quickly recognized an opportunity to boost diversity and inclusion across the company. She went on to become Edelman’s first US director of diversity and inclusion at the same time as leading the HR function for its Southeast region, which covers 2,400 employees. Thanks to Shaw’s efforts, Edelman has seen its overall ethnic and gender diversity increase year on year.

Most recently, she helped establish a groundbreaking internship initiative for ethnic minority undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse University.

Shaw also created a staff diversity training program called You Are the I in Inclusion to educate more than 2,000 Edelman employees on the importance of diversity and how it can boost growth and generate new business.

She is a founding member and co-chairs the Global Diversity Advisory Council and serves on the multicultural committee task force at Edelman.

Deborah Hyman, immediate past president of the society, praises Shaw’s leadership skills and the exemplary work she has done to identify and develop ethnic minority and female talent.

"Nzinga is an exemplary individual who is an agent for change in the PR industry," says Hyman.

 

• Shaw is an alumna of Spelman College and the University of Pennsylvania and also studied abroad at Oxford University

• She mentors young women on PR and communications as part of Spelman’s Sister 2 Sister program

• Shaw recently spoke to 75 high school students about careers in PR as part of the Dress for Success program sponsored by Walmart

• She is an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the largest community service organization of primarily African-American women with nearly 300,000 members

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