Lauren E. Graham ’13 MEM
An all-around powerhouse and strategic ecosystem- and community-builder, Lauren E. Graham is the embodiment of leadership and service to Yale. A graduate of the School of the Environment, she is dedicated to creating pathways to participation for alums representing all backgrounds, generations, and schools to work in concert with clarity of purpose and zeal for action to build a future that is not defined by its perils, but by its possibilities.
Since assuming the role of chair in 2014, Graham has transformed Yale Blue Green (YBG) into a robust alumni shared interest group—1,500 members strong—with a network of local chapters, an alumni board, programming exploring the intersectionality of environmental issues, events showcasing Yalies’ creativity and expertise, and a sustainability initiative focused on ensuring Yale’s global leadership in sustainability. She also served as the lead organizer for the 2019 Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS), an alumni-led initiative to engage in deep conversations on how to compel collective action for scalable planetary solutions. In recognition of her work, Lauren received the 2019 YAA Leadership Award for Volunteer Innovation and Service, and Yale Blue Green received the YAA Board of Governors Excellence Award in 2020.
Graham’s alumni service and involvement with YBG first began while a master’s student. It quickly blossomed into multiple leadership positions: an at-large delegate to the YAA Assembly, followed by committee co-chair roles as a member of the YAA Board of Governors and the YAA Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Secretary of the YaleWomen Governing Council where she was instrumental in crafting the five-year strategic plan. As one of the youngest alumna/alumnus ever to be honored with the Yale Medal, her diplomacy, intellect, and service-driven leadership ensure she will continue to be a driving force for building the capacity of the Yale alumni community to create a positive impact on the world.
When Graham is not enjoying her time with other Yalies, she is serving as the chief of staff at Hunger Free America, a New York City-based national anti-hunger advocacy and direct service nonprofit working to end domestic hunger. She is also the CEO of Velvet Frame, a social impact strategy and communications consultancy, founded in 2015.
Graham also serves as a part-time adjunct professor teaching a rotation of undergraduate and graduate courses on nonprofit management, leadership, sustainability, and entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, Baruch College-Zicklin School of Business at the City University of New York (CUNY), the Fashion Institute of Technology, Bard College MBA in Sustainability, and The Carbonauts.
Graham holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations, a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University, a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale School of the Environment, and a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.