Laura Liswood co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland and located it at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council, which is composed of women presidents, prime ministers, and heads of government.
The work of the Council expands the understanding of leadership, establishes a network of resources for high-level women leaders, and provides a forum for the group to contribute input and shape the international issues important to all people. Individual leaders are also an important resource to students pursuing public service degrees at the Kennedy School of Government.
Liswood co-founded The White House Project dedicated to electing a woman President in the United States. Her work with women presidents and prime ministers was the inspiration for the Project to change the cultural message in the U.S. about women as leaders.
Previously, as director of the Women's Leadership Project, Liswood identified global leadership contributions by women heads of state. She interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, which is chronicled in her book, Women World Leaders. Her quest was to find out what it would take for a woman to become President of the United States.
Liswood, a nationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, has contributed to leadership in the women's community for more than twenty years as a member of the International Women's Forum, Leadership America, the board of the First Women's Bank of California, and the Washington Women's Political Caucus.
Former commissioner of the City of Seattle Women's Commission, Liswood was the owner/publisher of Seattle Woman and is the founder of May's List, a bipartisan political donor network emphasizing women's leadership in the political arena. In 2000, the Secretary of Defense appointed her to a three-year term of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).
A managing director of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., focusing on global leadership and workforce diversity, Liswood's professional experience also includes CEO/President of the American Society for Training and Development, executive-level consulting to Fortune 500 and international companies, executive positions at Rainier National Bank and Group W Cable, a subsidiary of Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable.
She received the Westinghouse Award of Excellence for her contribution to women and minorities in the work place. She is also the author of a book on service quality, Serving Them Right.
Liswood has also held management positions in the airline industry, including general manager for the Pacific Northwest, for TWA, and was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
She holds a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from California State University, San Diego. She holds a J.D. degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in California and Massachusetts.
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