Zack Pesavento is a strategic consulting executive based in Washington, DC. From 2008 to 2013, Zack gained considerable first-hand experience working in communications offices at organizations such as the AFL-CIO, Human Rights Campaign, and the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2012, his strategic consulting firm has helped to score big wins for transparency and cannabis policy reform. He is a 2008 graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. From 2011 to 2012, Zack led a strategic communications campaign for the network supporting WikiLeaks source PFC Manning. During this time, he was able to draw on his access to Washington’s foreign policy establishment and his experience as an activist to navigate a challenging international media environment. He appeared on television programs for Russia Today, al Jazeera, and MSNBC and developed press contacts at many high-profile outlets. He grew the network beyond its progressive base by engaging libertarians, veterans and others who were concerned about civil liberties and fighting abuses of power.
His company, Lighthouse Strategic Consulting, LLC was tapped by a group of tech firms to help pass the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), which was signed into law in May 2014. Zack developed and implemented a year-long communications campaign for the Data Coalition’s successful lobbying effort. Zack handled engagement with contacts inside various White House offices and among the leadership in both parties while demonstrating public support for the landmark open data legislation. Lighthouse’s team interviewed members of Congress and other key players to produce a video explaining how the DATA Act can deliver greater federal spending transparency. Lighthouse was hired by the DC Cannabis Campaign to amplify and guide communications as part of their initiative to legalize cannabis in the District of Columbia. Zack and his team provided strategic advice in the months following the election as Congress attempted to overturn the results. Through aggressive messaging and targeted outreach, Zack helped the campaign create an atmosphere where DC Mayor Muriel Bowser ultimately felt comfortable enough to publicly defy threats of arrest in implementing the people’s will.