Laura Desmond

Laura Desmond
Associate Dean, External Affairs

Laura Desmond began her fundraising career at Northwestern University, later joining the American Red Cross as associate director of financial development and lead fundraiser on national disasters for the state of Ohio. After serving as vice president for fund development at Applewood Centers,she became a director of development for the Cleveland Orchestra, where she managed a team that raised a record $50 million in 2010. In 2009, Desmond worked with the Maltz Family Foundation to secure the largest philanthropic grant in the orchestra’s history, a $20 million endowment gift to create the orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences.

Desmond spent the early part of her childhood in Hamburg, Germany, due to her father’s work as an auditor with Price Waterhouse. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in economics and spent 10 years in Illinois before returning to Cleveland, where her family has roots.