Laura Zumdahl, PhD, Consultant
Laura Zumdahl, PhD is a Consultant with Cause Strategy Partners. She currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of New Moms, a nonprofit social service agency working with homeless and impoverished young moms and their children in Chicago. She is also the CEO of Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise that provides job training to young moms, while she produces soy candles that are sold nationally.
Prior to joining New Moms, Laura served as Vice President at Donors Forum (now Forefront), the Illinois state association of grantmakers and nonprofits, where she provided leadership to collaborations between nonprofits and funders and capacity-building efforts to strengthen nonprofits in the sector. Laura has also served in a variety of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in legal aid, higher education, and child welfare. She received a PhD focused on nonprofit leadership in 2010. Her knowledge and expertise in leadership development and evaluation and research methods is used to help nonprofits implement best practices and develop strong evaluation and impact reporting systems.
Laura received the prestigious Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Fellowship from the Chicago Community Trust in 2010. Her fellowship research focused on innovation and using design thinking in nonprofit organizations to address social problems, which she frequently uses when consulting. She was also named a 40 Under 40 Award from the Association Forum of Chicagoland in 2013.
Laura has been a proud Big Sister mentor for 10 years and serves on the boards of Trinity Christian College and Chicago Jobs Council. She has also served as an adjunct instructor for Trinity Christian College, North Park University, and University of Chicago.
Laura earned a BA in Sociology from Trinity Christian College, an MA in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Laura’s causes: anti-poverty programs and social enterprise.