Staff Directory

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    Executive Director
    Bob Gibson has been executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership since the spring of 2008. He has a pair of degrees from the University of Virginia, a B.A. in government and foreign affairs received in 1972 and a masters degree in education awarded in 2014.
    Before coming to Sorensen, he spent three decades in journalism, serving as news director for WCHV radio for two years and joining The Daily Progress in August of 1976 for 32 years in a number of positions with the newspaper.
    At Sorensen he has overseen creation of a four-year-old Emerging Leaders Program for young public policy leaders while helping an excellent staff operate four longstanding political leadership programs.



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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.
    (434) 243-2470,


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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 Gilbert is a 2010 graduate of James Madison University with a B.A. in political science. As Director of Programs, she has primary responsibility for overseeing all five Sorensen Institute programs, including curriculum development, recruitment execution, analysis and evaluation. Lauren has been instrumental in the development of Sorensen's social media presence and continues to be a key player in the development of alumni activities.

    (434) 243-2844,

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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,

  • TracyTannerBond.jpg
    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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    Dan Carey

    Political Leaders Program

    Class of 2007

    Cardiologist Dr. Dan Carey lives and works in Lynchburg. He is a Major (ret) in the United States Air Force, former President of the Medical Society of Virginia and former President of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine.