E. Kinney Zalesne is an American strategist, consultant, author, and lawyer. She is a General Manager for Corporate Strategy at Microsoft. She used to be CEO of Zalesne LLC, an advisory firm specializing in CEO positioning, communications strategy, and thought-leadership development. A former Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and White House Fellow with Vice President Al Gore, Zalesne is also the bestselling collaborator on the book Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, and the Wall Street Journal column of the same name.
Zalesne is the youngest of three children born to Judy and Harvey Zalesne of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She attended the Baldwin School, where she was president of student government and played varsity field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse. She graduated from Yale University magna cum laude and Harvard Law School cum laude. At Harvard Law School, she was a classmate and friend of President Barack Obama.
In 1998, Zalesne married Scott Siff, a communications strategist, brand consultant, and lawyer. They live with their three children in Washington, D.C.
In 2013, Zalesne joined Microsoft as a Principal Strategist. In 2015, she was promoted to General Manager, reporting to Executive Vice President for Strategy and Planning Kurt DelBene.
In 2009, Zalesne founded Zalesne LLC, an advisory firm that specializes in CEO positioning, strategic communications, and thought leadership development. The firm's clients include Fortune 500 CEOs, CEOs of fast-growing start-ups, university presidents, leading social entrepreneurs, and political leaders.
As a Senior Consultant with Penn, Schoen & Berland, Zalesne helped develop the strategy for the successful presidential campaign of Bill Clinton in 1996, the successful United States Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2006, and the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2008.
In 2006 and 2007, Zalesne collaborated with Mark Penn on the bestselling book Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes. The New York Times called it "the perfect bible for a game of not-so-trivial pursuits concerning the hidden sociological truths of modern times," and The Economist said it should be read "for its dozens of social insights that could well be turned to profit." It was named a 'New York Times bestseller and a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller. Zalesne spoke about the book on many national radio and television programs, including MSNBC's The Tucker Carlson Show She was also the keynote speaker at dozens of conferences and conventions. She is represented by the Leigh Bureau.
Following the success of the book, Zalesne collaborated on the regular Microtrends column in The Wall Street Journal. She also wrote about trends for national and international publications, including Business Week and the Financial Times.
In 2000, Zalesne became president of College Summit, which was named U.S Social Entrepreneur of the Year at Davos in 2008. With the organization's other leaders, Zalesne was featured in David Bornstein's 2007 book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.
Zalesne has since co-authored two white papers with College Summit founder J.B. Schramm, "The Promise of Proficiency: How College Proficiency Information Can Help High Schools Drive Student Success" and "Seizing the Measurement Moment: Why Now is the Time for States to Help High Schools Get the Measurement Data They Need and Want." In 2009, Schramm and Zalesne co-authored a New York Times op-ed titled "High School's Last Test."
From 2004 through 2005, Zalesne served as Executive Vice President for the U.S. at Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. During that period, Zalesne was one of a handful of executives featured in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's "Portraits of Leadership."
From 1991 to 1993, Zalesne served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable J. William Ditter, Jr., an appointee of President Richard Nixon. She then became an Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, where she worked on the landmark case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mumia Abu-Jamal and discussed the case on NPR's 'Talk of the Nation.
In 1995-96, Zalesne was one of 14 Americans appointed by President Bill Clinton to be a White House Fellow. She served in the Domestic Policy Office of Vice President Gore.
In 1997, Zalesne joined the U.S. Department of Justice as its point-person on juvenile justice legislation, and in 1998 was named Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.
Zalesne is a Past President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association and served as chair of the White House Fellows 2012 Leadership Conference. She is Past President of the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital, now known as the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation's Capital. She was a founding National Board Member of Eli's Mishpacha, the Jewish alumni of Yale, and has also served on the boards of the Baldwin School, the Jewish Publication Society, and Gladwyne Montessori School.