Laura Smith, CFRE, serves as Chief Advancement Officer for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), a professional association that champions public support for the arts. She leads efforts to develop resources that build NASAA’s capacity and strengthen state arts agencies, which in turn strengthens thousands of artists and arts organizations around the country. At NASAA, she oversees all fundraising; works with the many volunteers who share their time and talents; helps plan annual conferences; directs a national awards programs; and advises members and partners on development and governance issues. In 2015, she completed the Utah Division of Arts and Museums’ Change Leader program, with the goal of introducing mindfulness as a leadership skill to state arts agencies, and has organized and presented sessions on mindful leadership and mindful self-compassion at conferences around the country. She started her fundraising career at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and has also served with the American Architectural Foundation and the National Mentoring Partnership. Laura graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in English and Georgetown University with a M.A. in Liberal Studies. An avid knitter and birdwatcher, she lives with her partner Kelly and their two rescue cats in Silver Spring, near Rock Creek Park, where they spend much of their free time.