An Atlanta native, Laura Hardman is a 1967 honors graduate of Emory College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Mortarboard, and the Stipe Society.
Upon graduation from Emory, she was employed at Harvard University's Institute of Politics and, from 1969 to 1974, at Great American Mortgage Investors. In 1975 she became executive vice president of the Wakefield Company, leaving the next year to become operations manager for the Carter-Mondale Transition Planning Group.
Active in a number of civic organizations, Ms. Hardman serves on the boards of organizations for the arts, health care, and education. She served on the Emory Board of Visitors from 1981 to 1983 and was elected an Emory trustee in 1983, only the third woman to serve on the board up to that time. Honors she has received include the Emory Medal from the Association of Emory Alumni in 1998.