Laura Cantral is the Coastal Conservation League’s new Executive Director. She brings with her a track record of success in strategy development, partnership building, and environmental policy at the international, regional, and state levels.
Before joining the Coastal Conservation League in January, Laura was a senior partner at Meridian Institute, a nonprofit with offices in Washington, DC and Colorado that focuses on building collaborative approaches to address complex and controversial issues. At Meridian, she led the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a bipartisan group of thought leaders and ocean champions that advanced ocean and coastal policy issues. In her role, Laura served as a trusted advisor to key members of Congress and brought together all sectors of the ocean community to identify urgent priorities, communicate effectively to decision makers, and cultivate and educate ocean leaders.
Laura grew up in Mississippi, where she graduated from college and law school and started her career in environmental policy. Before joining Meridian, she worked for the US Commission on Ocean Policy as its Associate Director for Governance and as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Governor of Florida’s Ocean Policy Committee.
Laura now lives with her husband and two dogs in downtown Charleston. She is thrilled to lead the Coastal Conservation League into its next era of conservation success.
But, what is Laura really like? We asked her to answer a few rapid-fire questions …
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I am a total Gillian fangirl.
What’s the first thing you look for on a restaurant menu?
I look for three things. Are they using local ingredients? Is there a good selection of starters or appetizers? Because that’s what I’m eating. And, do they have a good Chardonnay?
Trivia category you would dominate in?
A book you would recommend to anyone?
Krista Tippett’s “Becoming Wise”
What do you like to watch on Netflix?
I consume a lot of Netflix and HBO. My latest pick was “The Crown.” I also love “Orange Is the New Black.”
Early riser or night owl?
A hand-me-down 1976 International Harvester Scout
Go-to karaoke song?
“Harper Valley PTA”
You’re down to your last $5. What do you buy?
A pack of almonds and a lottery ticket
Cats or dogs?
I like them both, but I have dogs. That happens when the rest of your family has a cat allergy.
The dance move you bust out at weddings?
I can rock the conga line!
Aisle or window seat?
What is one grammar rule you will never break?
My staff knows this one. I am committed to the Oxford comma.