Samantha Zellman

Director, Bay Area

Bringing to light

A community of Bay Area’s entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs that are empowered to design innovative experiences that meet their participants’ needs

The basics

Samantha is an organizer, facilitator, and coach who has a passion for Jewish life and a love of supporting others in achieving their vision for change. She was a fellow with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in the Republic of Georgia, managing job training and youth community service programs. She facilitated Jewish learning opportunities at the 92nd Street Y and, at Repair the World, co-designed a month-long experiential orientation program.

Samantha worked on President Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 as a field organizer in Virginia and in 2012 as the first ever State Training Director for New Hampshire. During that time, she developed and facilitated train-the-trainer programs for more than 1,200 campaign staffers, fellows, and volunteers. Prior to UpStart, Samantha worked at a boutique leadership and organizational development consulting firm and entrepreneurial nonprofit organizations where she led organizational design and community engagement efforts.

Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in International Relations, Middle Eastern Studies, and Conflict Resolution. She received her master’s degree in Organizational Change Management from The New School.

How Samantha finds meaning and comes together with others

A former community organizer, these days Samantha enjoys bringing people together over meals. When not hosting, Samantha loves to bask in all of Oakland’s best community gathering spots, including the farmers’ market and the redwoods.