Laura C. Simic, CFRE is a second-generation philanthropy professional with more than 35 years of service in both public and private universities. Laura’s career has been driven by the strong belief that education and philanthropy, together, may be unlimited in their capacity to improve the human condition. This passion has enabled her to facilitate the largest gifts received at two universities; direct the then largest campaigns at two others; build talented teams that are both collegial and accountable; create and transform programs on tight budgets; enable high-functioning volunteers; and build life-long relationships with devoted alumni and generous donors.
Laura’s breadth and depth of experience have instilled a deep appreciation for all advancement functions and for the critical centrality of transparent and trusting relationships between the donors and the organizations they support. Previous positions include Vice President for University Advancement at Boise State University; Interim Vice President, Senior Associate Vice President for Development and Campaign Director at Creighton University; Associate Vice Chancellor of Development at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Director of Planned Giving and Director of Development at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Development Coordinator at the University of Oregon.
Laura has particular expertise in: principal gifts, including generating big ideas; working with institutionally-related foundations and boards; women’s philanthropy; making the case for institutional investment in advancement; and navigating successful advancement career paths.
Laura currently serves on the boards of the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation, Opera Idaho and the Mortar Board National Foundation. Her history of board service includes those of social service agencies, scholarship foundations, youth services, professional associations, university alumni associations and organizations promoting diverse and inclusive communities. Laura is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public relations, and an alumna of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a master’s degree in higher education leadership. She also is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina, Leadership Omaha and the Ignatian Colleagues Program.