Bobbi Zaunbrecher, who has been an integral member of the Alumni Relations team at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center for nine years over two periods of service, has been promoted to LSU Law Director of External Relations. Since 2015, Zaunbrecher has served as Senior Associate Director of Development, and she served as Associate Director of Alumni Relations between 2007 and 2009.
In her new position, Zaunbrecher succeeds Karen Soniat, who directed LSU Law alumni relations and communications for 17 years before departing in August 2021 to serve as Vice President of Annual Giving and Membership at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
“Karen’s first job was as a teacher. Throughout her game-changing tenure at LSU Law, she never stopped being a teacher and the members of her team learned valuable lessons daily. I am honored to have been selected to follow her. Due in no small part to Karen’s influence, I am prepared,” said Zaunbrecher.
Zaunbrecher has extensive experience directing management, donor relations, and communications within higher education, nonprofit organizations, state government, and the legal community. Between her two periods of service at LSU Law, she held various executive positions with the American Red Cross at its Baton Rouge office, including Regional CEO, Chief Operations Officer, and Chief Development Officer during her six years with the organization.
“Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be shoring up our communications and alumni relations team with two new members and engaging alumni volunteers to elevate our profile,” said Zaunbrecher, who began in her new role at the start of July. “We’ll also be working with the LSU Foundation to advance our fundraising capacity, which was diminished through the pandemic. We have a legacy on which to build and a future to secure. It’s an exciting time at LSU Law!”
Over the past seven years at LSU Law, Zaunbrecher has conducted four special philanthropic campaigns that have raised more than $1 million, secured competitive grants totaling $600,000, and managed a gift program that raises approximately $350,000 annually.
“Bobbi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new position, as well as strong connections with our alumni and a proven track record of successful engagement with the many external constituencies that are vital to our operations at LSU Law, including donors, alumni, the legal community, and grant providers,” said LSU Law Interim Dean Lee Ann Wheelis Lockridge. “We are very excited that Bobbi is taking on this new challenge and serving in this important role.”
Prior to relocating to Baton Rouge in 2007, Zaunbrecher served as Executive Director of the YWCA Greater Lafayette in Lafayette, Indiana; President and CEO of the West Virginia Division of Prevent Blindness America in Huntington, West Virginia; and Senior Vice President of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce in Monroe, Louisiana, among other roles.
The Baton Rouge legal community was first introduced to Zaunbrecher in 1985, when she began serving as Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Bar Association/Baton Rouge Bar Foundation, a position in which she would remain until 1991. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Winnipeg in Canada and a master’s degree in sociology from the Eastern Illinois University.