Laura Lightbody directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ flood- prepared communities initiative aimed at reducing the impact of weather-related catastrophes such as flood and hurricanes on the U.S. economy, communities and environment by reforming federal and state flood and disaster policies. Her work has supported the passage of significant disaster reforms which include securing historical levels of mitigation funding and improving rebuilding requirements for federal assets, in addition to introduction of several flood policy proposals. She has contributed to and authored several publications and often cited by media as an expert in flood resilience.
Lightbody has extensive policy experience related to energy, transportation, and environment issues. Prior to joining Pew, Lightbody was a vice president at consulting firm where she designed Washington policy campaigns and regulatory strategies for a portfolio of nonprofit and corporate clients in areas including ocean services and economics, clean energy incentives, corporate sustainability, and pro-innovation policy. Her advocacy work influenced major pieces of legislation related to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, the Deepwater Horizon spill, toxic chemicals management reform, and the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. In 2007, as a communications consultant, she played a critical role in the passage of the first increase in federal fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in more than 30 years.
In between policy careers, Lightbody advised start-ups on growth strategies, business development, fundraising, and social impact.
Lightbody is originally from outside Detroit, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She and her family reside in northeast D.C.