Laura Freid has pursued a career in higher education and the arts, and made this the focus of her work in journalism and film as well.

As CEO and Executive Director of Silkroad for the past decade, Freid initiated the organizations ongoing multi-year affiliation with Harvard University, a five-year partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design, and created the first joint venture with the Harvard Business School.

During her tenure, Silkroad spearheaded a yearlong, citywide celebration of the arts in Chicago; focused on the arts and passion-driven learning in work with middle schools, educators and teaching artists; and brought together artists and business leaders to influence the emerging field of cultural entrepreneurship.

She also served as executive producer of the internationally acclaimed feature documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

Prior to joining Silkroad, Freid was executive vice president for public affairs and university relations at Brown University. A magazine journalist and editor, she served as publisher of Harvard magazine and publisher and editor of Bostonia magazine. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and holds an M.B.A. from Boston University as well as an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.