Laura Freebairn-Smith

Lecturer in Stage Management and Theater Management

MBA, PhD

Laura Freebairn-Smith is a Principal at Organizational Performance Group, an organizational development consulting practice. She has been a consultant for such distinguished companies as the New York Times, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Save the Children. Her specialty is assisting leaders in realizing the full potential of their organizations through humanistic and analytical practices, while offering guidance in the redesign of infrastructure and the creation of strategic plans. Laura currently teaches leadership at Yale’s School of Drama, and diversity and team building in the Executive MBA program at Yale’s School of Management and Yale’s Office of International Affairs. Prior to that, she served as Director of Yale’s Organizational Development and Learning Center, which she helped create. Her work and career have three major foci: leading the creation of organizational cultures, teaching and research on organizational development topics, and consulting on organizational development issues with a special emphasis on strategic planning and organizational redesign. Laura’s credentials include a BA from U.C. Berkeley (Philosophy and Political Science) and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Systems from Saybrook Institute and has published articles and chapters on organizational development topics, most recently on the issue of stereotyping in the workplace. Prior to joining Yale, Laura founded Good Work Associates, a consulting firm providing strategic planning and organizational development. Before that, she served as Managing Director for the Gesell Institute of Human Development, as Chief Operating Officer for Jobs for the Future, and as Education Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee on the Thai/Cambodian border. Laura has also taught at the University of New Haven, Central CT State University, and Georgetown University. She is on the board of BrunoFilms and recently served on the Town of Hamden Charter Revision Committee. Laura has received several leadership awards. For recreation, Laura enjoys running, writing poetry, and gardening.