About Laurie-Anne

Laurie-Anne Sayles is a community activist, public health specialist, and public servant from Montgomery County, Maryland. On December 5, 2022, she was inaugurated into a four-year term as an At-Large member of the Montgomery County Council, representing the first Black woman and Jamaican-American elected to office. She previously served as a member of the Gaithersburg City Council, making history as the first Black person elected to the office.

Early life and education

Laurie-Anne is a first-generation Jamaican-American born and raised in Lanham, Maryland. She is the youngest of six children. Her mother, Hilda, is a retired Montgomery County social worker who provided counsel to domestic violence and substance abuse victims. Her father, Perry, is a former Oncology Nurse and veteran of the U.S. Army. She attributes them as her inspiration for getting involved in public service.

After graduating from Prince George's Community College, Laurie-Anne earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, where she received a graduate fellowship to hone her policymaking skills at the Schaeffer Center for Public Policy. She also accomplished the following: Leadership Montgomery’s Connecting Our Regions Executives (C.O.R.E.) program, Omicron Delta Kappa (OΔK) National Leadership Honor Society, the Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program, and a Prince George's County International Ambassador Scholarship.

Career

Before running for public office, Sayles dedicated herself to a career in public health and community service. She was a Health Program Manager at Kaiser Permanente and Public Health Educator at the Prince George’s County Health Department. After graduating from the University of Baltimore in 2013, she worked as a Clinical Trials Communication Coordinator at the National Institutes of Health. She most recently worked for three years as a senior U.S. Food and Drug Administration consultant.

In her respective health roles, she fought for expanded access to early childhood education, a $15 minimum wage, equal rights, immigration reform, and a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment. She was appointed as a member of the Montgomery County Community Action Agency, elected as President of the African American Democratic Club and as Vice President of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, and selected to the Economic Development Committee and Education Enrichment Committee. She was also an active member of the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Maryland Municipal League (MML), serving on their Board of Directors, Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Chesapeake Bay & Water Resources Policy Committee, and Gaithersburg liaison to the Senior Advisory Committee.

Personal life

Laurie-Anne lives in Gaithersburg and has a daughter, Mikayla, a Montgomery County Public School and University of Maryland, College Park, School of Communications graduate. During her free time, she enjoys hiking the Muddy Branch trails in Gaithersburg, supporting small businesses across the county, and volunteering wherever needed to fulfill her passion for helping others.

Awards and accolades

Recognized for her substantial community involvement and advocacy for increased female representation in public service, Laurie-Anne was awarded the 2018 Daily Record Top 100 Women in Maryland award. She also has been honored with the 2017 City of Gaithersburg Environmental Steward of the Year Award, the 2020 Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Award, and the 2022 Community Bridges Role Model Award for her leadership in matters of female empowerment.

At Large Map

Residents of Montgomery County are represented by eleven Councilmembers. Laurie-Anne is one of four that are elected at-large by all the voters of the County. The other members of the Council are elected by the voters of their respective council districts.

According to the US Census Bureau’s 2015 Population Estimates, Montgomery County had a population of 1,040,116 persons as of July 1, 2015. The County is located adjacent to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and includes 497 square miles of land area.

 
Montgomery County map with numbered districts