CEO, WE Communications

To her clients and colleagues, Melissa Waggener Zorkin is renowned for her belief in purpose, possibility and the power of communications to transform businesses and move people to action. Under Melissa’s direction as CEO, along with co-founder Pam Edstrom, WE Communications has grown to become one of the world’s largest global independent communications firms with a talented work force of more than 800 strong. Developing future agency leaders and motivating/mentoring young people to build a career in communications are among Melissa’s top priorities.

Melissa recently joined the Board of Advisors to the University of Southern California Annenberg Center for Public Relations, along with other corporate and agency leaders from some of the world’s top companies to connect students and academics with the PR industry. For Melissa, it’s always been important that successful businesses use their influence to help make a difference beyond profits, and she is recognized frequently for her efforts. A Mercy Corps board member since 2006, Melissa is particularly interested in helping women entrepreneurs start their own businesses around the world, and she has been recognized for her contributions, particularly in Africa. Melissa also ensures that WE walks its talk in many creative ways, most recently, by creating the Global Pro Bono program, which allows employees to do impactful communications work in different parts of the world, including Ghana and Rwanda. In addition to giving all employees 16 hours off annually in service to their favorite non-profit organizations, WE recently established the Pam Edstrom Scholarship fund, which brings in new talent into the communications industry.