Tracy Zimmerman

Senior Director of External Affairs, NC Department of Health and Human Services

Tracy has more than 25 years of experience working on behalf of public interest issues. She currently serves as the Senior Director  She helped found the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF), where she serves as Executive Director. NCECF is driven by the vision that each North Carolina child has a strong foundation for lifelong health, education and well-being, supported by the nation’s premiere birth-to-eight system. 

Under her leadership, NCECF launched its signature initiative, the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways). Pathways is a collaborative effort bringing together the state’s early learning and education, public agency, policy, philanthropic and business leaders to define a common vision, shared measures of success and coordinated strategies that support children’s optimal development beginning at birth. She also serves on myFutureNC, a statewide commission on educational attainment led by North Carolina’s public education systems, and was appointed to the Birth-through-Third Grade Interagency Council.

Prior to NCECF, she led The North Carolina Partnership for Children’s (NCPC) public engagement efforts and developed the First 2,000 Days campaign. Tracy previously served as the Public Relations Director at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC and as Senior Vice President at The Hauser Group in Washington DC, where she created an award-winning public health campaign on infertility prevention for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. 

She holds a BA in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. Tracy and her husband, an elementary school teacher, have two children.