Council on Foundations Staff, Laura Tomasko, Joins White House

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Arlington, VA

The Council on Foundations announced that this month Laura Tomasko will begin a new role at the White House, where she will focus on impact investing public policy and philanthropic engagement. During her four years at the Council, she managed public-philanthropic partnership projects and led an impact investing initiative focused on community foundations. Laura’s work at the Council, helping to promote and nurture philanthropic engagement in impact investing, has garnered national recognition for the impact of foundations and the innovative practices of the field.

“Laura is a valued member of the Council team, and it is heartening to see the White House recognize the importance of her innovative and effective work,” said Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “Donors, philanthropists, and social innovators are increasingly looking to combine financial and social returns, and the Council is providing them with the resources needed to achieve that goal. Our members and the entire philanthropic community will benefit from having her articulate voice helping to frame policies in a way that promotes philanthropic investment as a means of advancing the greater good.”

Working on the Council's Network Team, Laura developed relationships with many organizations, such as Mission Investors Exchange, that play a critical leadership role advancing the field. These partnerships, and the support of the Community Foundation Impact Investing Working Group, led to the creation of important field resources, like the Community Foundation Field Guide to Impact Investing and the HUD/USDA Secretaries’ Award for Public Philanthropic Partnerships. The Council, working in close partnership with Mission Investors Exchange and other leading organizations, will continue to provide foundations with the opportunity, leadership, and tools they need to succeed.

In her role, Laura will work closely with the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Her work with the Administration will focus on an array of policy issues, including impact investing and environmental quality. She will promote public engagement on conversations pertaining to renewable and clean energy and climate change mitigation, resilience, and preparedness. Laura will serve as a crucial voice for the philanthropic sector with White House staff as they consider future policy and partnerships with the philanthropic sector.

John Cochrane, who is currently a key member of the Council’s communications team, will manage Laura’s portfolio as a Network Developer during her time at the White House. In his time with the Council, John has worked closely with the Public Policy and Legal Affairs team to craft messages which help demonstrate both the importance of American philanthropy and the ways policymakers can act to support foundations’ work. Previously, John has worked in various capacities at the Inter-American Development Bank Office of the US Executive Director, the US State Department, and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.