Laura Bradley Chodos has lived in Saratoga County since 1969 and returned to her public service career in the early 1970s as chairperson of a task force on finance reform legislation for NYS schools. She later was appointed by the New York State Legislature to serve on the New York State Board of Regents, representing the City of Saratoga Springs and 11 counties of the fourth judicial district of NYS. During her seventeen years of service, she was the first woman in the Board’s 232 year history to head its Committee on Higher Education and the Professions. Over 330 men, including Alexander Hamilton and Theodore Roosevelt, and 31 women have served since the Board was established in 1784. She represented New York State at two White House Conferences on Libraries and Technology. Her efforts to strengthen the nation’s libraries were inspired by her handicapped sister who always felt happiest and most welcome in a library.
Chodos graduated from Girls’ Latin School in Boston and Tufts University with degrees in economics and urban sociology, and continued doctoral studies in education at the State University at Albany. Her long commitment to international education included visits to other nations to study non-college directed curriculum and technical education. She spent over 25 years leading educational and cultural exchanges with Russia, following its struggles in the late 1980s, to join the global economy. In 2000 she founded the Chekhov, Russia-Saratoga Springs Sister City partnership. The group sponsored 13 visits by delegations from Russia to Saratoga Springs on topics that varied from development of a not-for-profit industry, to health systems, education, rule of law, small business development and arts exchanges. Chekhov unveiled a new state-of-the-art surgery center in 2009, inspired in part by a Russian delegation visit to Saratoga Hospital in 2002.
Chodos also served as a trustee of the Saratoga Arts Council and fund-raising chairman for Shelters of Saratoga. She is honored to be appointed a member of this Commission and believes Saratoga Springs’ best days still lie ahead