Laura Gleason is the director for Advancement. She has over 20 years experience in advancement and previously served as director of leadership giving. Prior to returning to the Smithsonian in 2013, Gleason served as associate vice president for campaign programs at George Mason University. During her tenure at Mason, she led the planning for the University’s largest comprehensive campaign and oversaw campaign communications and donor relations, while also maintaining a portfolio of major gift prospects. Gleason was part of the advancement team at the National Air and Space Museum for a decade prior to her post at Mason and helped secure private funding for the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. She previously served as director of development for the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in addition to holding other fundraising positions. A graduate of University of Maryland at College Park, Gleason holds a bachelor’s degree in economics.