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Laura Otten

Laura Otten, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Center at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA ( She has been a consultant and instructor with the Center since its inception in 1981. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, board development, program evaluation, partnerships/alliances, and resource development. Formerly she was an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at La Salle University, where she taught courses on crime and its causes, criminal law, and women and the law. She is the author of Women’s Rights and the Law (Praeger, 1993).

Prior to her La Salle career, Laura was Staff Assistant in the Division of Government and Law at The Ford Foundation and a researcher at the Mitre Foundation. From her early years, Laura has been an active volunteer in the nonprofit sector, serving as a direct service volunteer with organizations from across the sector. The types of organizations Laura has worked with range from civil rights to the arts, and literacy to soup kitchens. Laura received her B.A. in Sociology from Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.A. in Criminology, and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.