Dr. David B. Laird, Jr.
David Laird retired after more than 35 years of state government, higher education finance, fund raising and college administration experience as president and chief executive officer of the Minnesota Private College Council, Fund, Research Foundation and Partners for Education Opportunity. Prior to joining the council in 1988, he held multiple posts in higher education and finance. Laird serves on the board of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, was the founding chair of the board of College Possible and is a member of the board of directors of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. He is special advisor to the Hong Kong International Education Development Foundation in Hong Kong.
As Council President, Laird served 55 college presidents and hundreds of board members. He soon became a student of effective president-board relations. As one of five public leaders of higher education in the state, he championed the role of need based financial aid as a state priority. Laird also recruited major business leaders to join the Council board and advocate its public policy agenda. He created a research staff whose analytics became the national gold standard to support public policy discussions. In that context, he helped secure funding support from major national foundations which produced groundbreaking research. To help fill a major financing void, Laird co-founded a billion dollar student loan intermediary. Throughout his time as Council President, Laird served as a resource and advisor to state governors and legislative leaders as well as members of Congress and executive branch agencies.
Laird currently serves as president of Templeton Laird, an international higher education consulting firm. He is also a member of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations, the Concord Coalition, Nature Conservancy and St. Paul Rotary. Laird holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and history and a Masters of Education in education and history from St. Lawrence University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan and has an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia College, Moorhead.
Laird is a longtime member of the Mouldy Figs Jazz Band headquartered in the Twin Cities. He and his wife Joanne have two children and three granddaughters. They reside in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Strengthening the Future of Independent Colleges & Universities