Lauri Fitz-Pegado

2023/24 Board of Directors

Cultural and commercial diplomacy are the hallmarks of Lauri’s career working at the Voice of America, the U.S. Information Agency, and serving as a Foreign Service Officer. A former Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, a senior executive at Hill and Knowlton and Gray and Company, and a partner at The Livingston Group, Lauri also was an executive at Iridium, LLC.

She now applies her communications, public relations business and leadership experience to mentoring, teaching ballet, advising dance institutions, promoting artists, writing, and board service. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) and Mother Jones. She is on the Advisory Board of the Ron Brown Scholars, is a Senior Advisor for the International Career Advancement Program (ICAP), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Women’s Forum. She is co-founder and President of Beyond the Ballet Barre Inc, a nonprofit established to create programs and community for ballet teachers and students of color in the DMV.

A Jones-Haywood School of Dance alumna, Lauri performed with the Capitol Ballet, Vassar Dance Theater, and Ballet Santo Domingo. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and has a B.A. cum laude from Vassar College, M.A from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Her children and grandchildren live in Angola, Mozambique, and Scotland. Lauri’s memoir, Dancing in the Dash: My Story of Empowerment, Diplomacy, and Resilience was published by Bold Story Press in 2021.