director of community engagement

Barbara Larson

After serving as the first Executive Director of Leadership Alabama for 29 years and spending her entire career improving her community and state, Barbara Larson has joined Fortif as its Director of Community Engagement in 2024.

Barbara Larson is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She attended Sweet Briar College and the University of Alabama. After raising three children, she graduated from Auburn University in Montgomery. She worked for several years with Blount Incorporated in Montgomery and then joined the Alabama Shakespeare Festival when it relocated to Montgomery in 1984. She spent five years as its Development Director, helping to establish a significant presence and strong financial base for the Theater. Barbara was recruited to be the first Executive Director of Leadership Alabama when it was founded in 1989, and she retired from that position in 2018.

Barbara became involved with community leadership when she participated in the first class of Leadership Montgomery. She was a founding member of Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform serving on the original steering committee for more than eight years, and she served seven years on the Board of Directors of Voices for Alabama’s Children.

Barbara served on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama for fifteen years and later worked for the organization as its Development Director. She is a founding director of A+ Education Foundation, and she continues to serve on the Executive Committee of the A+ Education Partnership.

Barbara always makes time in her busy schedule to spend time with her three children and six precious grandchildren.

“Throughout my 42-year career, I have been fortunate to be in a position to bring people together to work toward a better Alabama. At Fortif, I am home again.” 


  • Auburn University Montgomery, BA, 1997

Community Involvement

  • Montgomery United Methodist Church, life-long member
  • Alabama Academy of Honor, Executive Committee
  • A+ Education Partnership, Executive Committee
  • Alabama Department of Archives and History Foundation, Board of Directors

Lawyers on a mission.