Dawn Laguens

Strategic Advisor, Impact and Innovation

Laguens also named 2019 Expert-In-Residence
at global design firm IDEO.

For the past eight years Dawn Laguens provided leadership, strategy and inspiration as the Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF). Her leadership cut across the entirety of the organizationdirecting the expression, extension and protection of a world class brand, alongside overseeing the daily advocacy, communications, policy, litigation and political work of the organization. Under her leadership, Planned Parenthood celebrated its Centennial; trained thousands of young diverse leaders; grew the political and organizing program to be one of the largest and most respected in the country; extended digital and analytics capabilities; enabled innovative communications and content partnerships; and championed a race equity orientation and intersectional approach to the work. During her tenure Planned Parenthood supporters grew from 3 million to 12 million people.

Laguens has appeared frequently in the media, at top global conferences and headlining  speechesincluding Ad Week, Aspen Spotlight Health, the Fortune Tech Summit, Rock Health and Girlbossin addition to representing Planned Parenthood on cable and broadcast news shows, and being widely quoted in national and local press on a range of health, rights and political issues. Throughout her career Dawn has championed the use of emerging technology, and personally led the production of Across the Line, an award-winning virtual reality experience that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.

Prior to joining Planned Parenthood Laguens, a CLIO award winning writer/director, was a leading campaign strategy and message consultant, focusing on a wide range of critical social issues. As the founder and president of LKK Partners, her clients included governors, members of the U.S. Senate and House, EMILY’s List, the National Education Association, the Nature Conservancy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Basic Rights Oregon, and Freedom to Marry, to mention just a few. She is the mother of triplets, a sportswoman, a native of New Orleans, a resident of Austin, and a fan of the printed word (but also of her iPad).

The Science Behind Our Practice

Our work is grounded in established methodologies and models of human and organizational behavior, including, but not limited to the following:

Emotional Intelligence

The competencies of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management) account for an individual’s ability to understand their own and others’ emotions and use that information to guide decision-making and action. Research has shown that leaders who master the competencies of emotional intelligence have a distinct advantage.

Positivity & Resilience

The incredible developments in neuroscience research over the last several decades have enabled a greater understanding of how practices that promote positivity and resilience—both individually and organizationally—have a significant and lasting impact on our capacity for creative thinking, productivity, efficiency, empathy, focus and more.

Intentional Change

​Developed by Richard Boyatzis, the Intentional Change Model underpins successful leadership development programs by supporting an individual or group in intentionally moving through five stages of change that close the gap between a current “real” self and a clearly articulated “ideal” self.

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry, developed by David Cooper Rider, is a strengths-based model of analysis, decision-making and strategic change that clarifies the assets and motivations that are an organization’s strengths in order to build or rebuild an organization based on what is working rather than trying to fix what doesn’t.

Resistance and Cycle of Change

People are at their most creative in their resistance. The Gestalt cycle of change maps the critical stages of change that all members of a group must experience in order to optimize success and minimize resistance. Disruption of the cycle manifests in very specific levels of resistance that can be effectively mitigated through intentional responses. 


Mindfulness is the awareness that one develops through ​paying attention to the present moment through your five senses without judgment. In addition to relieving stress and building resilience, even a simple mindfulness practice can significantly expand your range of options in any given moment. Incorporating mindfulness into any process of change or development supports an individual or group by rewiring the brain for more intentional responses and behaviors.

Dynamic Inquiry

Dynamic Inquiry, developed by Annie McKee and the Teleos Leadership Institute, is a method of discovery that uncovers an organization’s emotional reality–what people care about, what is working well, and what’s getting in the way. The purpose of the inquiry is twofold: 1) to identify underlying issues related to culture and leadership that are helping or hindering implementation of a strategy; and 2) to build ownership and commitment to the mission, vision, strategy, ideal culture and leadership framework among key stakeholders.