Laura Smith joined the NASAA staff in 2002. As chief advancement officer, she oversees all fundraising undertaken on behalf of NASAA. She works closely with the NASAA board of directors and staff to identify opportunities for public agencies, individuals, foundations and companies to support NASAA’s mission. In addition to her fundraising responsibilities, Laura is the chief staff liaison to the NASAA board; manages the development, governance, nominating and awards committees; directs council member relations; and advises NASAA members and partners on development and governance issues. She also represents NASAA and state arts agencies in key philanthropic forums and networks.
Before joining NASAA, Laura served with the National Mentoring Partnership, the American Architectural Foundation and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, where she helped found a site-specific theater company. She has advised the boards of several local and national nonprofit arts organizations and is currently involved with Women in Film and Video. She has served on grant award panels for state arts agencies and the National Governors Association. Laura is an avid knitter, birdwatcher and yoga enthusiast. Her arts background includes degrees in English (B.A.) and liberal studies (M.A.), training in piano and creative writing, and an abiding love of craft.