From Africa to Baltimore: The long path to education for a Hopkins star

Johns Hopkins alumna featured on Forbes '30 Under 30' list

Alongside actresses Margot Robbie and Elle Fanning, this Hopkins grad made Forbes' "30 Under 30" list.

One Johns Hopkins University alumna has found herself in the same category as such Hollywood stars as "Suicide Squad" actress Margot Robbie, Elle Fanning, and Justice Smith of Netflix's "The Get Down." 

Laura Gordon, a 29-year-old television literary agent, is featured on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list in the Hollywood and entertainment category. Gordon represents writers and directors of some of the most binge-worthy shows on TV, including Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show “Master of None," HBO's “Veep,” and Amazon's “Transparent."

The former Baltimore resident, who studied creative writing at Hopkins and has written for local news outlets including Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Style and WJZ, said she opened her inbox this week to find an email from Forbes. She was surprised by the honor, she said.

“I wasn’t expecting to win, especially considering that it’s usually a celebrity-dominated list,” said Gordon, whose profile is nestled on the Forbes list between two 20-year-old up-and-coming actors.

But Gordon, who has worked for talent and literary agency ICM Partners in Los Angeles for the past six years, has made a name for herself. Some of her most recent clients are creating shows at major networks, and she helped sell the critically acclaimed show “Search Party" to TBS. The show, which stars Alia Shawkat, has been renewed for a second season.

“I spend my time helping artists achieve their dreams, so it was a unique feeling to receive that kind of attention,” Gordon said.

“I work very closely with my colleagues. I have amazing relationships with my clients, who are extremely talented, so while I'm honored to be recognized, I realize it's not just about me. It’s a network of amazing storytellers that I’m lucky to be a part of." She noted that Charles Rogers, 29, who co-wrote and co-directed “Search Party,” also made this year’s 30 Under 30 list. 

Gordon said her goal is to be part of a more inclusive entertainment industry. 

“I believe that it is important to have the spectrum of gender, sexuality and race expressed both on the screen and behind the camera. ... I have made it a point as an agent to go out of my way to sign women, people of color and LGBTQ writers and directors and help them tell their stories and help them get those stories from the page onto the screen," she said. "I want to continue to do that.” 

Gordon wasn't the only person with Baltimore ties to be recognized by Forbes. Ravens guard John Urschel, who's pursuing a doctorate in math at MIT, made the 30 Under 30 list for science. Fashion designer Christian Siriano, a Baltimore School for the Arts alum, served as a judge for the art and style list. 

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