Zambezi Adds Dawn Thomas as Their First Head of Culture Strategy


By thelaegotist / / Independent and award-winning creative agency, Zambezi has hired technopreneur, innovator, and filmmaker, Dawn Thomas as their first Head of Culture Strategy and Content Innovation. In her new position, Thomas drives the agency’s Samsung business and is responsible for overseeing all agency client initiatives to elevate creative strategy, brand narrative and cultural IQ. She was recruited by and reports to Zambezi’s Chief Strategy Officer, Kristina Jenkins. Thomas’ background is impressively eclectic, with a J.D. in International Corporate Law (Syracuse) and a Masters in New Media Business (Newhouse School of Public Communications). She began her professional life on Wall Street in bank analysis, hedge funds and derivatives later moving in-house to a tech startup in the Equity Group Investments portfolio. However, with an obsession for technology, finance and storytelling, she moved to Los Angeles to explore opportunities in entertainment. Thomas started that career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) working in the Film Finance, Film Talent, and Television divisions. She then became a Senior Development and Production Executive for Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment (Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend and Hancock), managing a slate of film and television projects. At Overbrook, she worked with some of the industry’s top creative professionals, as well as major studios and networks (including ABC, CW, Sony, and Warner Bros) with budgets from $10M-$100M+. Later, she founded the company’s interactive marketing division developing digital content and franchise strategies. Creating transmedia campaigns to promote original IP’s and studio films (including I Am Legend), she developed original content producing motion comics, graphic novels, virtual games and live action shorts in partnership with brands like Xbox, Apple, DC and Vertigo Comics. Following Overbrook, Dawn ran a consultancy for creative talent, TV networks and brands (Fiat, Hulu, Neutrogena, Reebok, Verizon, Walmart) structuring content deals, producing multi-platform campaigns and designing creative strategies. Thomas is also a tech entrepreneur, a front-end developer (Java, HTML, and CSS), and founder of her own interactive content platform, Koi Media, producing immersive narratives (including VR and 360) for women – a community she is passionate about. Thomas’ hire is a continuation of Zambezi’s expansion of their Strategy Department led by Jenkins. Earlier this year Zambezi hired Wieden & Kennedy executive Danielle Pak as their first Director of Communications Planning, launching a new Communications Planning offering within the agency’s Strategy Department.