Sondra Cosgrove serves as the Executive Director and Chair of the Board for Vote Nevada. Vote Nevada is a state-specific, civic-engagement non-profit.
Meet our collective of Nevada citizens from across the state focused on maintaining the principles of Vote Nevada and carrying out our mission:
Vote Nevada is an advocacy engine coupled with a grassroots think tank.
We are a pioneering civic engagement organization.
We offer familiar civics education and engagement activities and also provide a creative edge for developing solutions for persistent civic issues.
Sondra Cosgrove, Executive Director
Sondra Cosgrove moved to Nevada in 1986 and raised her family in Las Vegas. She earned a PhD in History, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology, from UNLV in 2004 and is currently a history professor at the College of Southern Nevada. At CSN, Sondra teaches U.S., Nevada, and Native American history. She also teaches Latin American Studies at UNLV.
In addition to teaching, Sondra works with the CSN Women’s Alliance to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Women’s Alliance offers programing, services, and advocacy for the institution’s female identifying students, staff, and faculty.
In the community, Sondra serves on many boards and commissions. In addition to being a past president of the League of Women Voters of Nevada, she is the Vice Chair of the Nevada Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commissioner, a board member of the ACLU NV, and a board member of Nevada Women in Trades.
Sondra is currently the Executive Director and Chair of the Board for Vote Nevada. Vote Nevada is a new civic engagement nonprofit that promotes civic participation, legislative advocacy, and advancing civil rights. With a Nevada-specific focus, Vote Nevada addresses our state’s needs with a deep understanding of our culture, history, and governing processes. Vote Nevada is accountable to Nevadans, not to an out-of-state entity or organization.
Jean Laird, Vice Chair
Bypassing the traditional college route, Jean’s career began long ago with the nonprofit Rural Counties Community Action Program in Nevada, working there for three years. As her career ambitions grew, Jean took college courses and worked in various roles to qualify for future highly skilled positions.
Jean began her long career with the State of Nevada in 1974 as a Statistician at the State of Nevada Division of Welfare (Medicaid, Title XX Social Services, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, AFDC, Child Support Enforcement). She continued there as a budget analyst, senior management analyst, chief of management analysis, and chief administrative services officer/CFO.
For a change of perspective, she decided to move to the Governor’s Budget Office for two years, then becoming chief administrative service officer/CFO at the State Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services. She worked there for ten years and concluded her career after three years as deputy administrator of the division in 1998. After that, she worked two sessions of the Nevada Legislature for the Senate Finance Committee, then spent several years as a management consultant for several state agencies.
Jean joined the League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada around 2009 and has since served as secretary, voter services chair, program services chair, and president. Jean is dedicated to improving accessible and fair democratic processes and advocating for mental health resources.
Ann Marie Smith, Treasurer
Ann’s background is in business administration and publishing. She is the Managing Partner of Communications Consulting Service LLC, a full-service foreign language agency. In addition to running the business end of the company, she translates and edits documents from Spanish, Portuguese and French into English. She is a graduate of the University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain, and attended NYU Graduate School of Business. Before joining CCS full time, she was publisher/editor of a music magazine, Spotlight on Country, in New York City, and she worked for the United Nations, publishing companies and accounting firms. She and her family moved to Nevada from New York City in 1987.
Her community activities include past president of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Southern Nevada; founding president of NAMI of Nevada; founding president of Americans for Mental Health; steering committee member of Nevada Women’s Lobby; 15 years in board member positions including past secretary and past treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada as well as past treasurer of the state League of Women Voters of Nevada; and 16 years on the board of Caminar, a San Mateo, California-based behavioral health agency that delivers high-quality services to persons with mental health and substance abuse issues. During her affiliation with Caminar, she served as president, secretary and treasurer at various times.
She brings her business expertise and behavioral health advocacy experience to her position as treasurer of Vote Nevada.