Director of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club
Chair of the Board of Chicago Cubs Charities
Co-Founder of Beyond Barriers
Laura Ricketts is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, political activist, and community advocate. She is a Director of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club and Chair of the Board of Chicago Cubs Charities, where she leads the organization’s philanthropy, sport-based youth development and academic programming, government relations and community relations. She is the first openly LGBTQ woman to co-own an MLB franchise. Ms. Ricketts is also Co-Founder of Beyond Barriers, an innovative leadership accelerator designed to empower women and enable companies to develop and retain future-ready women leaders. Prior to her work with the Chicago Cubs and Beyond Barriers, Ms. Ricketts co-founded Ecotravel LLC, a digital ecotourism hub dedicated to educating travelers and promoting global ecotourism. She also practiced corporate and securities law at the Chicago law firm Schiff Hardin LLP.
Ms. Ricketts is a leader in Democratic politics. Her political work is focused on increasing the empowerment, engagement and representation of the queer and intersectional women’s communities. She is Co-Founder and Board Chair of LPAC, the only national political action committee that builds the political power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer women by electing candidates who champion LGBTQ rights, women’s equality, and social justice. LPAC has received recognition and awards for its innovative political work and groundbreaking research on LGBTQ women as a political community with a particular focus on those who are transgender, women of color, or economically challenged. Ms. Ricketts is Co-Chair of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s re-election Finance Committee. She is also Finance Committee Co-Chair of Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia’s campaign for Illinois Secretary of State. Ms. Ricketts serves on the Democratic National Committee’s Finance Committee. She has been a Member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), served on the DNC’s Executive Committee, and served as Co-Chair of the DNC National Finance Committee’s LGBTQ Leadership Council. She also served on the Presidential National Finance Committees of President Joe Biden, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama. She is a past member of the EMILY’s List Board of Directors.
Ms. Ricketts has been actively engaged with several nonprofit organizations in the Chicago community and beyond. President Barack Obama appointed Ms. Ricketts to the Board of Trustees for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is a member of the Obama Foundation Inclusion Council. She serves on the Board of Advisers for Opportunity Education, an international foundation that provides educational programming and technological tools to help educate over 1 million children and train 5000 teachers around the world. She has served on Lambda Legal’s Board of Directors and National Leadership Council as well as the Board of Directors and Leadership Council of Housing Opportunities for Women.
Recognized for her leadership and advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ and women’s communities, Ms. Ricketts was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2013. She has received the Center on Halsted Human First Award, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago Vanguard Award, the Equality Illinois Freedom Award, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund Leadership Award, the Leadership Champion Award from Girls in the Game, and the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Outstanding Leader Award in Business.
Ms. Ricketts earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She lives in the Chicago area with her wife and three children.