Founder and CEO
The Social Institute
Laura Tierney is founder and CEO of The Social Institute, which empowers tens of thousands of students, parents, and educators to navigate social media positively through their comprehensive and gamified social media curriculum. Laura got her first phone at age 13 and went on to become a four-time Duke All-American, Duke’s Athlete of the Decade, and a social media strategist for leading brands. She also recently became a mom.
Her standout sports leadership experience combined with her career managing social media for world-class brands is proof of Laura Tierney’s drive to reinvent the conversation around teens and social media. She bridges the gap between adults and teens as one of the nation’s leading pioneers in positive social media education.
Before founding The Social Institute, Laura served as Social Media Director at the award-winning advertising agency McKinney, leading social media strategy for national and international brands. Earlier in her career, Laura helped ESPN use social media to launch espnW and inspire millions of women and girls who love sports. She has developed social strategies and campaigns for leading brands including Duke Men’s Basketball, Nike, Under Armour, Disney, Toyota, Travelocity and Oakley.
Laura is an unshakable optimist and a competitive athlete at heart. She was a student-athlete at Duke University, majoring in sociology and journalism, and became a four-time Duke All-American, two-time team captain, and Duke Athlete of the Decade for field hockey. During her time at Duke, she played with the U.S. Women’s Junior National Field Hockey Team, representing the United States at home and abroad.
Today, as CEO of The Social Institute, Laura and her team are empowering students to navigate social media positively by coaching tween, teens, parents, and educators on the best moves to make. Students at schools across the country — from Ravenscroft and Gaston Day to Saint Mary’s and Milton Academy — have a chance to win the world’s largest game: social media.