Mr. Zambrano was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to an American mother and Ecuadorian father. He has three younger brothers. His father was a petroleum engineer and geologist who worked on projects in diverse locations around the globe, including the North Sea, Azerbaijan, the Ecuadorian jungle, and Venezuela.
His parents taught him the importance of pride, hard work, open-mindedness, compassion, and self-sacrifice—all of which were put to the test at the age of six, when the family moved to Houma, Louisiana. Although his parents were bilingual, he spoke only Spanish, and his new school did not offer bilingual education. He managed to learn English, despite these hurdles, but there were more to come.
His father’s work required the family to relocate frequently, which meant changing schools often. He ended up attending three different high schools. The silver lining was that he learned to make new friends wherever he went. “This ended up being a tremendous life skill,” he said.
He earned a BA in Political Science and Government and an MBA in Marketing from Texas Christian University. Before getting a JD from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, where he graduated cum laude, he worked in a variety of professions - economic development, network administration, and technology consulting – and learned the value of developing transferable skills.
Today, Mr. Zambrano is a partner at the law firm of Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC, where he is a litigation attorney specializing in corporate law, including breach of contract, bankruptcy, regulatory investigations, and other commercial disputes.
He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable James A. Baker of the Texas Supreme Court, and also practiced law in the Dallas offices of Weil, Gotshal, & Manges, LLP and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, before achieving his first partnership with Miller, Egan, Molter & Nelson, LLP.
His peers have recognized him as one of Dallas’ Super Lawyers®, an agency that rates lawyers through independent research, peer nominations, and evaluations of professional achievement.
Mr. Zambrano has been actively involved in a number of high-profile pro bono matters, including representing human trafficking victims, victims of Hurricane Katrina, asylum applicants, and defendants who have been convicted on false evidence.
He is a member of HSF’s Dallas Advisory Council, and has served as a chairman of The Concilio, a non-profit organization that “empowers parents to improve the health and education of their families.” He also served on the board of directors of the Cancer Support Community North Texas (formerly known as Gilda’s Club North Texas).
“It is vitally important that anyone about to graduate begin to develop a professional and social network,” he advises. ”This involves seeking out…alumni and maintaining existing relationships. Volunteering and, ultimately, participation on non-profit boards, are also very good ways to develop new relationships.”