In August 1996, Laura Liswood co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. Ms. Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council, which is composed of current and former women presidents and prime ministers. The work of the Council expands the understanding of leadership, establishes a network of resources for high-level women leaders, and provides a forum for the group to contribute input and shape the international issues important to all people.
Liswood holds the position of Senior Advisor for Goldman Sachs, a premier global investment bank. She was previously Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs. Liswood has also held management positions in the airline industry, including general manager for the Pacific Northwest, for TWA, and was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
From 1992-96, as Director of the Women’s Leadership Project, Liswood identified global leadership contributions by women heads of state. She interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, which is chronicled in her book and video documentary, Women World Leaders. Her quest was to find out what it would take for a woman to become President of the United States. The 10th Anniversary edition of the book, with new interviews and additional chapters, will be published in July, 2007.
Liswood, a nationally recognized speaker, author, and advisor, has contributed to leadership in the women's community for more than twenty years as a member of the International Women's Forum, Leadership America, the board of the First Women's Bank of California, and the Washington Women's Political Caucus. Former commissioner of the City of Seattle Women's Commission, Liswood was the owner/publisher of Seattle Woman and is the founder of May's List, a bipartisan political donor network emphasizing women's leadership in the political arena. In 2000, the Secretary of Defense appointed her to a three-year term of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).
After the events of September 11th, 2001, Ms. Liswood joined the District of Columbia's police force as a reserve officer. She has since been promoted to Sergeant.
She holds a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a J.D. from the University of California, Davis, School of Law and a B.A. from California State University, San Diego.