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Laura Freebairn-Smith


Laura Freebairn-Smith is a Partner and co-founder at OPG. She has been a consultant for such distinguished organizations as the New York Times, Lemann Foundation, and ESPN. 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, the creation of strategic plans, and with organizational development.

Prior to founding OPG, Laura served as Director of Yale’s Organizational Development and Learning Center, which she helped create. Laura currently teaches leadership at Yale’s Drama School.

Her work and career have three major foci:

  • Leading the creation of organizational cultures
  • Teaching and research on organizational development topics
  • Consulting on organizational development issues with a special emphasis on strategic planning and organizational redesign

Laura’s credentials include a BA from UC 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 radical move leadership.

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.

In addition to her teaching at Yale, Laura has taught at University of New Haven, Georgetown, and Central CT State University. She served on the Town of Hamden Charter Revision Committee and has served on numerous other boards in the past. Laura has received several leadership awards. For recreation, Laura enjoys running, writing poetry, tennis, and gardening.

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