Zuhirah Khaldun-Diarra / Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Brand
Zuhirah is a strategic communications leader with experience at national and international nonprofit and mission-driven organizations. She comes to Jumpstart from UNICEF USA where for four years she led multi-channel and digitally-led brand campaigns to increase support for UNICEF’s global humanitarian work in the United States. Her proven expertise in brand, integrated campaigns, digital marketing, social media, media relations, partnerships, entertainment marketing, and award-winning content development has driven transformational impact, narrative change, and organizational growth over the course of her career. Zuhirah began her career in the music industry transfixed by the growing influence of Hip-Hop culture in the mid-1990’s and what it could do to lift the voices of underserved and marginalized communities. After graduating college, Zuhirah’s first job was as a tour publicist for The Roots at Geffen Records. She says this is where she earned her media and communications stripes and where she learned how to craft a narrative and tell a story, uplifting hidden narratives and eventually becoming publicist for Jay-Z as well as Ja Rule, Method Man, Redman, De La Soul, and DMX, among others. Zuhirah was also part of the team that revived a bankrupt Converse brand leading to a sale to Nike and 2400% return for investors before turning to nonprofit communications through a consultancy with the historic civil rights organization, the National Urban League. During what turned into an 8-year tenure at the National Urban League, Zuhirah led and provided strategic direction and management of the organization’s integrated brand marketing and communications initiatives and multi-city events including: Put Our Children 1st education advocacy program with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as managing the Leagues’ marketing of the first ever Red Nose Day in the United States. Zuhirah has lived in New York City, Bermuda, Tanzania, and The Netherlands where she received an MA in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. Zuhirah also holds a BA in Economics from Barnard College, Columbia University. Zuhirah currently resides in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley with her husband and two daughters and sits on the boards of Oceans First Institute and the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators where she is the Board Chair.