Laurie White ’81

  • President, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce


Laurie White is President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce — Rhode Island’s largest private-sector business and economic development organization. The Chamber’s mission is to advocate on behalf of the membership to improve the vibrancy of local economy and to be a champion for members as they work to fully achieve their own business development goals. She has been President since October 2005 and is the host of Chamber TV–a virtual platform for engaging Rhode Island business leaders with influential news and policy makers.

She is also chief executive of the Greater Providence Chamber Foundation which serves the private sector in generating new business investment in Rhode Island.  In recent years, the Chamber has been devoted to growing the state’s Innovation Economy through advanced industry formation, entrepreneurship, medical, academic and industry collaboration, technology transfer, talent recruitment and competitive tax policy.

Laurie is an honors graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1981. She was the recipient of the University Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award in October 2010 and the University President’s Distinguished Achievement Award in October 2016. She founded the Taricani Lecture Series on First Amendment Rights at the University of Rhode Island in June 2019 in honor of her late husband and nationally recognized television journalist Jim Taricani.

She was named Business Leader of the Year by Providence Business News in October 2019; Trailblazer in Business by the RISE Women’s Leadership Conference in 2020 and a “Y Hero” by the Greater Providence YMCA in 2021. In addition, she has been honored by the Sisters of Mercy, the Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement and the YWCA for her work on elevating the professional profile of women in the community.

In recognition of her advocacy work in support of education, she was inducted into the Community College of Rhode Island Hall of Fame in April 2010 and received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Johnson & Wales University in May 2010.  She was inducted into The Prout School’s Hall of Fame in October 2008.

She has earned the designation Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) from the American Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and is the only Chamber professional in Rhode Island to hold that national distinction. She has completed the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business “Directors Consortium” which focused on best practices in corporate governance.

Laurie is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aquila Municipal Trust–a municipal bond fund complex with offerings in Rhode Island, Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado and Utah; a member of the Board of Directors of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future; a member of the Board of Governors of the Rhode Island Commodores; chair of the Capital Campaign Committee for the Jonnycake Center Food Pantry; and a member of the Board of Directors and an Officer of the John F. White & Company, Inc. She served for nine years as a member of the Executive Board of the University of Rhode Island Foundation and chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee.

From January 2003 to July 2004, Laurie served as Executive Counselor to the Governor of the State of Rhode Island for Policy and Communications. She returned to the Chamber as Executive Vice President in October 2004. Prior to her 18 months of service in the Executive Branch, Laurie was Senior Vice President of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to joining the Chamber in 1989, Laurie was the Public Information Officer at the Rhode Island Department of Economic Development and Assignment Editor/Producer at ABC-6 Television in Providence.