Traci D. Cook is NDI's Senior Advisor for Southern and East Africa programs. Ms. Cook has previously served as Resident Country Director for NDI programs in Malawi and South Sudan and is currently also the Country Director for NDI’s Zambia program. In her work at NDI, she has aided civil society organizations to conduct systematic observations of elections from the voter registration stage to election day and similarly has provided technical assistance to local groups observe historic referendums, such as the South Sudan independence referendum in 2010. An experienced opinion researcher, Ms. Cook has also designed and authored public opinion studies in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for NDI. Prior to NDI, she served as senior director for strategic and corporate communications at the Women’s National Basketball Association and as vice president of marketing communications at SS+K, a strategic marketing and advertising firm, in New York City. Complementing her work in the field of international development and in the private sector is her experience as Political Director for the Mississippi Democratic Party, Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Chris Dodd, and research work for various U.S. House and Senate campaigns through the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.