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Laurel Heiskell MacLeod


Laurel Heiskell MacLeod

Vice President of Philanthropy

Laurel Heiskell MacLeod is vice president of philanthropy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, where she directs all philanthropic outreach.

In this role, Laurel combines 25 years of work in public policy and public affairs with a commitment to strategic fundraising. She has served as a policy expert in fields as diverse as domestic broadcast and telecom, property rights, social issues, and foreign affairs with an emphasis on United Nations policy. Laurel combined that work with media and communications as a trained journalist, national spokesperson, storyteller, and media consultant. Laurel has been quoted in a diverse number of national print newspapers and magazines, interviewed on hundreds of radio programs, appeared on network and cable news, and has guest lectured at universities including Wellesley College, Washington & Lee University and Georgetown University. She was also an adjunct professor of Government for three years, directing the writing and policy focus of honors students writing their senior theses.

While managing a lobbying shop in Washington, D.C., Laurel served as an ad hoc major gift officer and discovered a love for philanthropy alongside her passion for public policy and integrated communications. She recently spent several years as the SVP at Pursuant, a large Dallas-based fundraising agency where she built their DC business and consulted with a wide range of non-profit clients.

In bringing philanthropic expertise to CEI, Laurel leads an established team and together, they partner with the individuals, foundations and businesses that have a vision to carry liberty and free markets forward for the next generation. She holds a bachelor of Arts degree in Politics with a concentration in Journalism and Mass Communications from Washington and Lee University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Regent University. As a metro-NYC native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, and with deep roots in the Southeast and Texas, Laurel is at home from Boston to Austin. She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her family and when she’s not in D.C., you’ll find her at the baseball field, the ballet studio, roaming the local Farmer’s Market, or knee-deep in dirt planting flowers.