Meet the CSN Team

Laurie updated headshot

Laurie Ponce Lage



Jo Giles

Director of Policy
and Training

Laurie Ponce Lage is the Director of the Coalition for a Strong Nebraska (CSN). Laurie served as a legal counsel in the Nebraska Legislature for three committees and nine committee chairpersons and brings a wealth of legislative knowledge to the coalition.

Born and raised in North Platte, Nebraska, Laurie attended the University of Nebraska for both her undergraduate and law degrees. She worked as a legislative page during her undergraduate years, and as a clerk during law school. Upon graduation, she began working for the Legislature. She has established relationships with legislators and other public officials, state administrators, private industry and interest groups.  As a lawyer responsible for advising the Legislature on policy and legal aspects of legislation, Laurie is able to accurately communicate those aspects, explain the relevant law, and recommend a course of action.  She has proven success in mediating and negotiating solutions to complex changes in the law.  Email Laurie –


Jo Giles is CSN's Policy and Training Director. She creates training sessions for CSN members, and others in the nonprofit sector, to be able to participate more fully in the public policy advocacy process. Jo also is responsible for managing communications and supporting our members during the legislative session.

Jo previously served as outreach director at OpenSky, which works to improve opportunities for every Nebraskan by providing impartial and precise research and analysis, on budget, tax, and education finance. Prior to that, Jo worked at Emspace Group, a communications strategy firm in Omaha, and was an award-winning media relations professional and journalist who worked in the public relations department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and as a television reporter/anchor for Omaha’s KPTM Fox 42 News. Jo has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a bachelor's degree in psychology and African-American studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a certificate in public health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Email Jo –