Gloria Cordes Larson is a former politician and lawyer based in Boston. As of July 1, 2007, she was the first woman to be selected President of Bentley College (now Bentley University) in Waltham, Massachusetts. Larson, a Southerner, attended McLean High School in McLean, Virginia and received her bachelor's degree from Vassar College and her J.D. from the University of Virginia. She served as an Attorney Adviser to the Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission from 1981-1988, and as the agency's Deputy Director of Consumer Protection from 1990-1991.
In Massachusetts, she served as the state's Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation from 1991 to 1993 and then as Secretary of Economic Affairs from 1993 to 1996, both under Republican governor William Weld. A lifelong Republican, she became an Independent in the 2006 election to chair newly elected Democratic governor Deval Patrick's business cabinet.
Among many professional and community appointments, Larson also serves as a board member of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. She was lated named chair of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and co-chair of the Government Practices Group at Foley, Hoag & Eliot. In 2003, Boston magazine named her number one on their list of "100 Most Powerful Women in Boston."