Zina Spezakis

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Zinovia "Zina" Spezakis
Personal details
Born1970 or 1971
Toronto, Canada
Political partyDemocratic
EducationCornell University (BA)
University of Chicago (MBA), (MA)
Johns Hopkins University (MS expected)
WebsiteCampaign website

Zinovia "Zina" Spezakis (born 1970 or 1971) is an American progressive politician, clean tech and finance executive and environmental activist. In February 2019, she officially filed with the Federal Elections Commission to run for United States House of Representatives seat for New Jersey's 9th congressional district, which includes the cities of Paterson, Passaic, Clifton and Fort Lee, challenging eight-term incumbent Representative Bill Pascrell in the Democratic Party primary for 2020.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Spezakis was born in either 1970 or 1971 to Greek immigrants, who operated a deli in Manhattan, New York City, New York.[1][2]

After graduating from Stuyvesant High School in New York City, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics and Government) from Cornell University and Master of Business Administration (Finance and Business Economics) and Master of Arts (International Relations) degrees from the University of Chicago. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.[2] Spezakis has worked at Morgan Stanley, PIMCO and as Managing Director at Allianz.[2]

Spezakis is on the board and advises a clean energy company, Ecolectro, which is based in Ithaca, NY.


Following the 2016 United States presidential election, Spezakis joined Citizens' Climate Lobby, a grassroots, bipartisan organization that supports federal carbon fee and dividend legislation.[2]

Spezakis then enrolled in the Masters of Science in Energy Policy and Climate program at Johns Hopkins University.[2]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



After reading the 2018 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Spezakis officially decided to run for the House of Representatives seat for New Jersey's 9th congressional district, challenging eight-term incumbent Bill Pascrell for the Democratic Party's nomination for the seat in 2020.[1][2]

Spezakis would cite Pascrell's failure to act with urgency on climate change and his past campaign donations from pharmaceutical and health insurance companies as the reason that she was challenging him.[3]

In November 2019, Spezakis was endorsed by Brand New Congress for their 2020 slate.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wildstein, David (March 6, 2019). "Bill Pascrell draws a Democratic primary challenger". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Zina's Story - Zina for Congress". Zina Spezakis for Congress. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  3. Sainato, Michael (June 4, 2019). "The AOC Effect: Progressive Women Gear Up to Primary Top Democrats". The Progressive. Retrieved September 29, 2019.

External links[edit]

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