WSU CAHNRS

WSU Extension | UW Evans School

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Cindy Zehnder

Cindy ZehnderCindy Zehnder manages the firm’s Washington State Governmental Affairs Division. Cindy’s large network of relationships and her in-depth knowledge of Washington State policy and politics have been built over her 30-year career in public affairs. She has extensive negotiation experience in public and private sectors and is adept at managing public relations, stakeholder outreach, and communications strategies for organizations.

Prior to joining the firm, Cindy served as Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Gregoire where she provided leadership to the senior staff and managed the Governor’s Office operations, including legislative relations, policy development, budget, communications, crisis management, and constituent relations. She was directly responsible for the twenty-seven executive cabinet agencies and chaired the Natural Resources and Economic Recovery Subcabinets as well as the senior transportation policy group.

From 2003 to 2007, Cindy was the CEO of Washington State’s public affairs network, TVW, which televises all major legislative, executive branch, and Supreme Court proceedings. For five sessions prior to that, Cindy served as Chief Clerk of the Washington State House of Representatives where she was responsible for all legislative operations.

Cindy began her career as a truck driver and dockworker followed by a number of leadership positions within the Teamsters union, including International Representative, Coordinator of the Washington Joint Council of Teamsters; and Secretary-Treasurer and Principle Officer of the Freight, Tanker, and Carhaul Drivers in King County.

Cindy has a long history of community involvement including participation in the University of Washington Board of Regents, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Ruckelshaus Center, the Evans School of Public Affairs, WSU Tri Cities, and UW Tacoma. She has served on the executive board of the National Caucus of State Legislatures, the Trust for Representative Democracy, the NCSL Foundation Board, the National Association of Clerks and Secretaries, and the National Association of Public Affairs Networks.

Cindy received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Washington. She lives in Olympia with her partner, Mike Branstetter.

Updated on February 10, 2012

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