Veteran lobbyist Brigitte Nieland has left her position at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry to become government affairs director at Stand for Children, Louisiana.
Nieland, who spent 21 years at LABI, was the organization’s chief education lobbyist and worked on many of the education reform measures that have been passed by the Legislature over the past decade.
At Stand for Children, Louisiana, she will be doing much the same thing—pushing for charter school legislation, quality standards and other measures that seek to improve K-12 public education.
“They support all the same kind of policies that LABI did and we’ve been allies with them for years, so it has been a very smooth transition,” Nieland says.
Stand for Children is a national organization that was founded in 1996 in Portland, Oregon. Today, the group has 11 chapters around the country, including the one in Louisiana, and has become involved in local school board races and state legislative elections.
Nieland says the group’s recent—and successful—involvement in school board elections in East Baton Rouge and Jefferson parishes, as well as its plans to focus more on state-level race in the future prompted her to make the move.
“They want me to help them build their capacity to get involved in legislative races,” she says. “They’ve also been involved with philanthropic groups looking at the state’s pension system and how it can address its unfunded accrued liability. These projects piqued my interest. I will always love LABI, but I saw an opportunity to do new things and grow in different ways.”