Lauri Hennessey

Affiliate Instructor

Lauri Hennessey’s career has led her from working at Seattle radio stations at the start of her career to Capitol Hill as a press secretary, from running public affairs operations for large federal agencies to serving as VP for Public Affairs at Edelman in the Northwest. She has worked for numerous public affairs and PR firms, including her own, helping local nonprofits with media relations, fundraising, crisis communications, campaigns and more. Among recent positions were Vice President for Engagement at Woodland Park Zoo and her current position as CEO of League of Education Voters, leading a statewide educational advocacy organization.

Throughout her long career, Lauri dreamed of someday teaching communications. So during the pandemic, Lauri went back to school at UW 35 years after leaving and completed her BA in the Integrated Social Sciences program, graduating with honors in 2021. She continued on to get her Master of Mass Communications from the University of Florida, specializing in Public Interest Communications and social impact, graduating with honors in December of 2022.

Lauri is a frequent public speaker, serving as a lecturer with Humanities Washington and teaching whenever she can. She has also worked on numerous political campaigns and was an award-winning newspaper columnist. Her passions include singing in musicals whenever possible, kayaking and hiking and volunteering for an array of organizations, including serving on the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus in Washington state.