Lauren McLean is a community leader, political activist, small-business owner, wife to Scott McLean and mother to two school-aged children. Lauren owns The Confluence Group, a consulting firm that works with donor alliances, philanthropists, foundations and other institutions to increase the impact of philanthropy.
Since her first foray into Boise politics as the campaign manager of the historic Boise Foothills Open Space Campaign in 2001, Lauren has collaborated with diverse groups of people throughout the city to create a shared vision of this special place she calls home. Through her volunteer and professional work she’s demonstrated her commitment to sustainable communities, smart growth, parks and open space, strong neighborhoods, well-funded schools, and an economy that propels Boise into the future.
Lauren currently serves on the Boards of the Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC) and Resource Media, a non-profit communications firm that serves environmental and public health organizations. She served on the steering committee to develop the Boise Chamber’s Leadership Boise Alumni Association. Lauren has been a board member of her neighborhood association, officer of Conservation Voters for Idaho, member of the Boise City Planning and Zoning Association, and President of the Boise Parks Commission. She is a graduate of Leadership Boise and volunteers once a week in her son’s class at Longfellow Elementary. Lauren is a past recipient of the Idaho Business Review’s 40 Under 40 leadership award.
Born in Boston, Lauren moved to Houston, Texas when she was 18 months old and called Houston home through her Freshman year in High School. Just before turning 16, she moved to the tiny village of Cazenovia in rural Upstate New York – and met her future husband.
She left New York to attend the University of Notre Dame and spent her Sophomore year studying in Angers, France at L’Universite Catholique de l’Ouest. Back in South Bend and fluent in French and Italian, she was awarded a fellowship to study public policy during the summer of 1994 through the Hesburgh Program of Public Service. She’d planned to focus on work in Washington, D.C., but one afternoon heard Governor Marc Racicot talk about the West, its communities and its vast lands – and shortly thereafter found her way to Helena, where she worked for the Governor in his office of the Montana Consensus Council.
The Governor awarded Lauren a special commendation for her work in rural communities that summer; Lauren loved the work and loved the Intermountain West even more. As a co-worker warned her as she left Helena, the West was “in her blood,” and she’d be back. Lauren returned to Notre Dame, graduated with honors in 1997, and married her high school sweetheart Scott McLean that summer. They moved to Boise a year later.
Lauren earned a Masters in Public Administration from Boise State University as a Carl Burke fellow. Her thesis focused on the potential role of consensus building in resolving policy disputes.
Lauren is an avid trail runner, mountain biker, backpacker, skier and reader. Her family enjoys all Boise has to offer and keeps a stock of popsicles and refreshments for neighborhood children and their parents that stop by almost daily. She can be spotted commuting by bike to her office and meetings, and whenever possible she and Scott love to explore Idaho’s beautiful backcountry by foot, ski, or raft with their school-aged children Madeleine and Aiden.