Laura Shields-Haas(she,her,hers)

Director of Philanthropy
  • Philanthropy

A leader and global expert in health, resilience, and sustainable development, Laura brings over 20 years of experience in building strategic relationships and organizational partnerships to successfully acquire and sustain external funding for the development of complex programs to strengthen systems and build capacity. She has deep experience in the prospecting, acquisition, and stewardship of a variety of funding sources, including government and foundation grants.

In her role as Director of Philanthropy, Laura serves as a strategic lead for the Philanthropy Team is responsible for cultivating funder relationships and managing the processes of proposal development and reporting to private, corporate, and public foundations as well as federal and state agencies. She works closely with program and finance staff, managing the grant development process and collaborating with program areas on budget building and fiscal goal setting.

In addition to her work managing the grant writing process, Laura also provides strategic guidance on the Institute’s annual giving program, including membership, stewardship, and contact management.

Laura has a BA from The University of the South, an MBA from Georgia State University, and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. Prior to joining the Institute, as faculty at Tulane University, Laura lived throughout Africa, soaking up the richness of the continent – camping in Ngorogoro Crater, sailing a dhow off the coast of Kenya, and getting too close to gorillas in Rwanda’s Virunga mountains. She and her family are excited to exchange the bayous and live oaks of Louisiana for the sea and mountains of Maine and are looking forward to sailing Penobscot Bay and climbing Mount Katahdin.