Lara Bergthold, Principal Partner at RALLY, is a campaign and communications strategist with a wealth of experience in positions such as political and communications strategist, philanthropic advisor, presidential senior campaign advisor, and PAC director. Lara is a leader in integrating her wide network of relationships in entertainment, politics, and the nonprofit space to develop and launch campaigns involving high-profile individuals and the causes they support.
Skilled at developing and launching impactful campaigns on behalf of her clients, Lara delivers results that truly make a difference. Following the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, Lara joined forces with Sandy Hook Promise in March 2013. The startup was designed to honor all victims of gun violence by turning their tragedy into a moment of transformation. Lara helped develop and launch Sandy Hook Promise’s campaign, “Parent Together,” which engaged over 10 million people in 2013.
Since 1997 and currently, Lara serves as Executive Director of the Lear Family Foundation, a private foundation of Lyn and Norman Lear, where she has directed millions of dollars of grants annually to progressive organizations working on civil liberties, civil rights, the environment, and the arts, among others. She helped launch the “Declaration of Independence Road Trip,” a multimedia historical document and voter registration tour following the Lears’ acquisition of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. It eventually toured all 50 states and registered over 4 million voters.
Lara served as National Deputy Political Director for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004, overseeing the engagement of entertainment industry figures as surrogates for the campaign. She had previously joined General Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign as National Political Director, where she managed political operations in over 12 battleground primary states. From 1989 to 1997, Lara worked with and then ran the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, raising over $6 million for progressive candidates at the national level. She organized more than 50 celebrities and donors to attend the 1992 Choice March in Washington, DC.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Lara received a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Lara fights with passion for social justice issues, civil rights, and civil liberties by serving as Chair of the Board for People for the American Way, as well as Rock the Vote and her son’s school board. She is inspired by her colleagues at RALLY and is dedicated to building a better world for her son and other children.