Laurie A. Watkins is an ambitious and accomplished professional, speaker, coach, and creator of the program, Ready | Set | Strong. For more than 17 years, Laurie has developed strategies to bring people together around common causes. She has held senior positions in government and the private sector, including her role as Barack Obama’s Florida Deputy Political Director in 2008, and was appointed as Senior Advisor to two Assistant Secretaries of the Army in his administration. In 2012, Laurie was recruited from her post at the Pentagon to support President Obama’s re-election campaign as his Florida Policy Director.
Laurie is a veteran of several congressional, gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, is an active partner of the Truman National Security Project, and member of California Women Lead and Women in Aerospace. She is a recognized expert in wellness, food security, disaster response, national security, and expanding education and opportunities for young women and girls.
She is the author of the award-winning book, Go from Stressed to Strong: Health & Fitness Advice from High Achievers and a past guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Laurie holds a BS from Florida State University and an MPA from Florida Atlantic University.
When Laurie isn’t speaking from the stage, coaching clients, or networking, you can find her volunteering with José Andrés’ non-profit, World Central Kitchen, feeding those in need. Laurie is a CF-L1 CrossFit instructor and coaches’ athletes a few times a week at a local gym in her community. When she’s not in the gym, you can find her hiking or skiing in the Sierra mountains, paddle boarding in the Bay, or exploring the California coast.