Reprinted from LinkedIn, 12 Sept 2023
Welcoming Laura Ballman to Our Team!
Meet Laura Ballman
I am thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Authentify team, Laura Ballman. Laura will be advising us, and she will focus on strategic relationships, revenue, and fundraising. For more than a decade, Laura has been a passionate and vocal advocate for the adoption of technology to scale, modernize, and secure the global art market.
Before joining Authentify Art, Laura led Capital Art Strategies, a boutique advisory firm providing strategic and operational services to clients including The Cohen Group, the U.S. Arts in Embassies program (pro-bono), a private collection, and an art-secured financial lender startup. Previously, Laura led U.S. Art and Finance for Deloitte, where Laura developed new business across the company’s Consulting, Risk Advisory, and Tax practices, in addition to managing interdisciplinary client-facing teams.
From 2013 to 2016, Laura served as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Art Crime Team’s intelligence chief, working on felony investigations including forgeries, theft, antiquities trafficking, money laundering, and other financial crimes. During her tenure, the Art Crime Team’s successful investigations included, among others: exposing the (now shuttered) Knoedler gallery forgery scheme, which victimized some of the world’s most sophisticated art collectors; dismantling a major terrorist organization’s antiquities trafficking network; recovering a museum’s stolen Wyeth paintings; and recovering stolen pieces of foreign nation’s cultural patrimony include stele, manuscripts and paintings.
Previously, Laura developed her interest and understanding of technology as a Director of Counterintelligence for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Laboratories Complex. Before DOE, Laura served as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) clandestine operations officer, including in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Before working for the government, Laura worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, CNN, the Economist Group, and other media.
Laura serves on the board of The Long Run Foundation, which provides micro-grants to artists experiencing adversity. She belongs to the Meridian International Center’s cultural diplomacy council. Laura previously served on The Art Table’s national board and The Antiquities Coalition’s board of advisors. She holds a master's degree in art business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art; a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Minnesota. And if you think she seems familiar, she is a frequent international affairs and art market commentator at conferences, on cable news networks, and in print.
Having a partner like Laura is a huge deal for Authentify and especially for me. With Laura's help, I will be able to focus more attention on the technology rollout and customer on-boarding, which is essential to our short-term success and long-term growth.