Staff Directory

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    Executive Director

    Bob Gibson is executive director of the Sorensen Institute. Before coming to Sorensen in the early spring of 2008, he was a political writer, columnist and editor at the Charlottesville Daily Progress for 30 years, where he specialized in covering local, state, and national politics.

    He is the winner of several Virginia Press Association awards, the 1993 Virginia Bar Association Award in the Field of Law and Justice and the 1993 Southern Journalism Award for investigative reporting about racial disparities in sentencing. He is also familiar to many Virginians as a guest on public radio WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show in Washington and as a host of various shows on public radio WVTF.

    Bob is married to Sarah McConnell and together they have three daughters. They are graduates of the University of Virginia who also have taken the same classes together for six years at UVA to earn masters degrees in education in May of 2014.

    (434) 982-4998,

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    Director of Student Programs and Recruitment

     Cash joined the Sorensen staff in 2015 after fourteen years with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in which time he worked as an Education Outreach Specialist and a Historic Interpreter. He also served as the staff liaison for Sorensen's Emerging Leaders Program, and that experience inspired him to apply for the Political Leaders Program Class of 2014 which ultimately elected him class president. Cash is a Freemason and an Eagle Scout, and continues to volunteer with the Boy Scouts in addition to serving as a judge for the annual We the People high school competition in Virginia.

    As the Director of Student Programs and Recruitment he is responsible for facilitating and organizing recruitment efforts for all of Sorensen’s programs and for directing the high school and college programs in particular.


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    Development and Events Coordinator

    As development and events coordinator, Rachel is responsible for the logistical arrangements for all Sorensen Institute programs and special events. She also provides support in the area of development, helping with donor stewardship and cultivation. Rachel and Lauren work together to manage Sorensen’s social media presence. 

    (434) 982-5234,

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    Director of Programs

    Lauren joined the Sorensen Institute in January of 2012 and currently serves as director of programs. In this role she has primary responsibility for overseeing all of the Sorensen Institute's programs, including all program analysis and evaluation. She is also responsible for coordinating and executing recruitment and outreach efforts for all Sorensen programs, and she works in partnership with Rachel Casebolt to manage Sorensen’s social media presence.


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    Deputy Director and Director of Development

    Colleen Smith is a long-standing figure in the field of development and fundraising in the Commonwealth. She has held pivotal roles around Virginia for over 25 years, focusing on the expansion of deserving programs like the restoration of James Madison's Montpelier, Ash Lawn Opera, Tandem Friends School, and the University of Virginia's Darden School and McIntire School.

    Colleen is currently the deputy director and director of development for the Sorensen Institute, where she continues to focus on the health and well-being of its operations. 

    (434) 982-4910,

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    Office Manager, Volunteer Coordinator

    Tracy Tanner Bond has made a nearly thirty year career at the University of Virginia. Before joining Sorensen in 2006, her background at the University has been diverse, from experience in the Bursar's Office, Construction and Facilities Management and Real Estate Contract Administration. Her financial and administrative experience has been a wonderful resource in managing the financial operations for this non-profit organization. 

    Giving back to the community is a passion of Tracy's, and through community outreach and Alumni volunteers of the Sorensen Institute, we have been successful with food drives, book drives and serving as part of Remote Area Medical team in Wise, Virginia.

    (434) 982-4943,

Featured Alumni

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    Chris Peace

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2004

    Chris serves in the Virginia House of Delegates where he represents the 97th District. He is a member of the Sorensen Institute's State Advisory Board.