Tracy Zimmerman Tracy Zimmerman was appointed to the role of Deputy Secretary for Policy and Communications at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in July 2021 and previously served as the Senior Director of External Affairs. In this role, Tracy oversees the communications, data analysis, legal, legislative, and policy functions of the Department and provides senior leadership to the Department to advance its mission of improving the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians. In her prior role, she oversaw the Office of Communications and designed and implemented public affairs, stakeholder relations and integrated communications strategies to support the Department’s mission to improve the health and well-being for North Carolinians. During the pandemic, Tracy led the state’s communications and public outreach response, which included more than 140 press briefings and counting; the award-winning Whatever Your Reason, Get Behind the Mask campaign; and a research-informed public engagement strategy to promote vaccine with a focus on those most impacted by the pandemic. Tracy has spent her career working on behalf of public interest issues and has created multiple award-winning campaigns. She is an accomplished leader who believes that with excellent strategy, honest dialogue and authentic collaboration we can make positive change for the people we serve. Prior to joining DHHS, she helped found, launch and brand the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) and served as Executive Director. She previously led The North Carolina Partnership for Children’s (NCPC) public engagement efforts and developed the First 2,000 Days campaign, 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. Tracy currently serves on the Advisory Board of Commissioners for myFutureNC and on the Executive Leadership Board of the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She holds a BA in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. Tracy and her husband, an elementary school teacher, have two children.