Notable Alumni: Laura Gutiérrez

Executive Director, United Community Center

  • Category: Notable Alumni
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 20
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelor of Science/Carroll College, 1995
  • Graduate degree/university: Master of Arts in Leadership and Policy/Marquette University, 2001

Carroll University – 1995 (bachelor’s)

Marquette University – 2001 (master’s)

Laura Gutiérrez, executive director of the United Community Center (UCC), is the first woman and first person from its south side neighborhood to lead the agency.

Before taking over the role in May 2020, Gutiérrez had been a part of UCC for decades. She has held a variety of roles, including assistant principal and director of instruction at Bruce Guadalupe Community School, middle school science teacher, and youth worker when she was a teen.

In addition to her educational work at UCC, Gutiérrez has led St. Anthony’s School, one of the largest private schools in the state. Prior to returning to UCC, Gutiérrez was appointed Wisconsin’s Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, managing a biennial budget of $100 million.

Gutiérrez grew up in Milwaukee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Carroll University in 1995 and a Master of Arts in leadership and policy from Marquette University in 2001. Additionally, she completed the District Administrator Licensure Program at Cardinal Stritch University and received her superintendent license in 2016.

Shortly after she became executive director, COVID-19 changed everything about how UCC could serve the community. Gutiérrez guided UCC’s staff to continue providing community services, while avoiding staff layoffs.

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