Lauren Marra is a director at Arabella, where she provides guidance on strategy, evaluation, and implementation projects. She has worked on a broad range of institutional, family, and individual client engagements and has honed her expertise in launching large-scale initiatives, developing grant-making programs, and partnering with foundations to refine their strategic plans. Lauren currently manages a grantee learning network among 18 states implementing major K-12 education initiatives and leads an effort to support a funder seeking to elevate the voices of teachers in education policy and practice. Lauren’s past work includes launching and managing an international multi-donor fund focused on promoting sustainable agriculture globally, helping a major early childhood education funder refine its grant making strategy, and evaluating a community partnership’s transit-oriented development strategy.
Prior to joining Arabella, Lauren worked in policy advocacy on issues related to workforce development, education, international trade, and human rights. Most recently, she served as a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), where she led an effort to increase cross-system collaboration and investment around low-income, at-risk youth. Lauren also held positions at the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Economic Policy Institute, and in the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the United States Department of Labor. Lauren’s deep belief that smart philanthropic investment and results-driven nonprofit leadership can drive lasting impact stems from her first job at Chrysalis, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit social enterprise that helps homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment.
Lauren holds a BS in Economics from Boston College and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University, where she was a Nielson Philanthropy Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. She formerly served on the Georgetown Public Policy Institute Alumni Advisory Board and as the chair of programs on the board of directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of DC.