Laura Cantral, Senior Partner

Laura Cantral is a Partner at Meridian Institute, where she works out of the Washington DC office. Ms. Cantral has more than 18 years of experience facilitating policy dialogues and multi-stakeholder processes. At Meridian, she conducts convening assessments, designs collaborative processes, raises funds, facilitates meetings, helps diverse participants develop consensus documents, and conducts implementation activities such as press releases and briefings.

Ms. Cantral has extensive experience working on ocean and coastal policy issues. Most of her projects at Meridian focus on ocean and coastal issues, including the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, a collaborative, bipartisan effort of experienced thought leaders and ocean champions that offers high-level, credible leadership on ocean policy issues, as well as other projects that focus on the effective implementation of ocean policy at the international, national, regional, and state levels. 

Prior to joining Meridian in 2005, Ms. Cantral was the Associate Director for Governance for the US Commission on Ocean Policy, a congressionally created commission appointed in 2001 to develop recommendations to the President and Congress on improving the use and management of ocean resources. From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Cantral served as staff for the Florida Governor’s Ocean Committee, which was created by the late Governor Lawton Chiles to make recommendations for improving the management of Florida’s ocean and coastal resources.

Ms. Cantral holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts in English, both from the University of Mississippi. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and daughter.