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Senior Fellow


Laura Nichols

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Laura Nichols is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a member of the Center’s executive team. As one of the original architects of American Progress, she has contributed to building the institution, overseeing the construction of its communications operations, and leading its strategic planning since its founding in 2003.

She first served the Center as Senior Vice President for Communications and Strategies with responsibilities for development of all communications, including press and online staffing, structure, growth, and strategy. As Senior Fellow, she contributes to the Center’s new media efforts and serves as a liaison to the progressive community, donors, and Capitol Hill. She is also a partner in First Tuesday Media, a media company based in Los Angeles that organizes the entertainment industry to produce political and advocacy media.
Nichols spent eight years as advisor, strategist, and spokesperson for former House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO). In those roles, she served as Mr. Gephardt’s spokesperson and was responsible for developing and managing communications strategies on a wide variety of policy issues for House Democrats. Ms. Nichols also served as press secretary to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and former U.S. House Representative Vic Fazio (D-CA). She began her career in politics as the Iowa press secretary in 1988 for Gephardt’s presidential campaign.
Prior to joining American Progress, Ms. Nichols served as senior vice president for corporate communications at the Public Broadcasting Service, where she oversaw media relations, publications, speechwriting, government relations, online and education public relations, viewer services, and special events.

She is a graduate of the University of Missouri and currently resides in Washington, D.C.


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