Laura Gross is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Women on Boards, a Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative designed to advance diversity on boards of directors. She has served on several boards including as the first female Chair of the Board of Directors for the Denver Future Forum and as a board director for the Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative, a cross-industry, multi-discipline, non-partisan, non-competitive professional education and networking organization for executive level women.
Ms. Gross served as a Senior Program/Policy Advisor in the Center for Governance at the National Education Association, a 3-million-member global organization. She designed leadership development for the organizations emerging and highest-level leaders. At NEA, Ms. Gross was also a Senior Confidential Advisor in the Chief Learning Office serving as the executive coach to the organizations highest level leaders. She spent 15-years traveling across the country consulting to state affiliate staff, executives and leaders to design strategic plans, leadership development and trainings, and designing and directing engagement strategies with members, political leaders and the public.
Prior to joining NEA, Ms. Gross served as a communications specialist and political organizer for the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) representing more than 5,000 education professionals before elected leaders at the local, state, and national levels and developing and executing communications strategies.
Ms. Gross served as the Finance Director for U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey overseeing the national fundraising strategy raising $2.5 million.
She began her political career in Aberdeen, South Dakota at the age of 9 alongside her mother and grandmother selling cookies at bake sales to raise money for the presidential candidacy of U.S. Senator George McGovern. From bake sales she went to the halls of the South Dakota state capitol as a legislative intern for state Senator Tim Johnson and then as an aide to U.S. Senator Tom Daschle in Washington, DC.
A native of South Dakota, Ms. Gross graduated from South Dakota State University with a BS in journalism. To complete her undergraduate degree, she was selected to participate in the National Student Exchange at North Carolina State University. She has graduate certificates in Organizational Development from the National Training Lab in Bethel, Maine; Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University; and Advanced Leadership Coaching from George Mason University.