Laura Rodriguez
Laura RodriguezChief Strategy Officer, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT),

“In business, you’re going to hear the word “no’ a lot. The importance of trusting yourself and your own rear end is what’s going to keep you going. Recognize that failure or the word “no’ is not the end.” — Sara Blakely

Laura Rodriguez serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Laura brings years of prior experience within the State of Colorado and OEDIT to her role. In her capacity as Chief Strategy Officer at OEDIT, Laura leads the development of strategic planning and program initiatives that bolster the organization’s internal operations and external engagement. This includes creating partnerships, fostering business and community relationships, and driving key programs to support Colorado’s economic growth.

Before taking on her current role, Laura held the position of Vice President of Economic Competitiveness and Corporate Attraction at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. Here, she spearheaded economic development efforts and formulated strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the economic competitiveness of the Metro Denver region. Laura’s work also focused on attracting businesses and skilled workers to the area.

Prior to her role in Denver, Laura served as the Managing Director of Business Investment at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). In this capacity, she was instrumental in attracting corporate investment to Virginia, overseeing a diverse portfolio of industries ranging from software and cybersecurity to data centers and life sciences. Laura’s expertise extended to assisting companies with state financial incentives, site selection, and providing essential research to inform investment decisions.

Laura’s commitment to data-driven strategies was evident in her previous position as the head of the Strategy and Analytics team at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Here, she collaborated with senior leadership to establish robust data gathering systems and analytical methods. These tools enabled the systematic tracking and measurement of economic development goals at the state, regional, and industry levels. Laura played a pivotal role in executing the Global Business Development strategy, which facilitated successful trade and investment missions led by the Governor.

Laura’s diverse professional journey also includes serving as an economist in the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, where she contributed to vital economic forecasts and managed capital construction and IT budgets for the state. Her wide-ranging experience includes work at the Colorado General Assembly, the National Italian American Foundation, the Department of State U.N. Political Affairs, and even an international stint in Perugia, Italy, with the Region of Umbra.

Laura holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Born and raised in Denver, Laura is not only a dedicated professional but also a devoted parent. In her free time, she enjoys quality moments with her son, as well as outdoor activities like hiking and skiing. Her passion for international experiences extends to her love for speaking Italian.

 

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