Gloria Cordes Larson, JD
Gloria Cordes Larson is a respected lawyer, public policy expert, Boston business leader, and former university president. Immediately following her eleven year tenure as President of Bentley University, Larson served as President in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education from July 2018 through June 2019. She currently serves as a director on two public company boards, Unum Group and Boston Private, as well as on the boards of two private companies, reacHIRE and Christie Campus Health. In addition, she is a member of the boards of several national and regional non-profit organizations, including McLean Hospital, the MA Conference for Women, and the executive committees of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Boston Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Ms. Larson will assume the chairmanship of the Mary Christie Institute on May 1, 2021.
From 2007 until June 2018, Larson served as the President of Bentley University, located in Waltham, MA. During her tenure, Bentley achieved university status, further deepened its distinctive integration of business and the liberal arts, was named a Top 10 undergraduate business school by Bloomberg Businessweek, and was ranked #1 in the country for both career services and internship programs by The Princeton Review. In 2011, Larson launched the Center for Women and Business (CWB) at the university, with a stated mission to advance women in the organizational world. The Bentley Board of Trustees named the CWB in her honor when she stepped down from her role as president. While at Bentley, Larson also authored the book PreparedU: How Innovative Colleges Prepare Students for Success, published in 2016 by Jossey-Bass, a division of Wiley.
Before joining Bentley, Larson had a wide ranging career in law, public policy and business. She served as a partner and Co-chair of the Government Strategies Group at the Boston based law firm, Foley Hoag, LLP; as Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and later as Secretary of Economic Affairs, under Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld; and as Deputy Director of Consumer Protection for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.
Larson has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including being named multiple times to the “Power 50” by both the Boston Business Journal and Boston Magazine, as well as to The Commonwealth Institute’s roster of the Boston Globe Magazine’s Top 100 Women-led businesses in Massachusetts. In 2018, she was awarded the Ellen M. Zane Award for Visionary Leadership from Tufts Medical Center. More recently, she received a Woman of the Year Award from the Wentworth Institute of Technology and was named one of the University of Virginia School of Law’s One Hundred Change Agents, recognizing those alumni who have made a distinctive impact in the world over the course of the law school’s 200 year history.
Larson received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Vassar College and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is the recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees from Northeastern University and Wachusetts Community College. Married to attorney Allen Larson, the couple resides in Yarmouthport, MA and Isle of Palms, SC, along with English Labs Olive and Sally.