Throughout his career as a vice President and executive vice president with Shell, David Lawrence established himself as a leader in the energy and oil and natural gas sector. Aside from his professional activities, David Lawrence was active in civic and professional organizations, including the National Ocean Industry Association and the New Orleans Business Council and spent several years on the board of the United Way of New Orleans, currently known as the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana supports a broad range of social initiatives in the region, including educational outreach projects. Over the years, the organization has worked hard to improve educational opportunities, especially for individuals and families living in low-income areas. It provides a broad range of educational services, including work transition programs, academic support and enrichment, and quality child care. In particular, the organization delivers superior early childhood education, which has demonstrated a strong correlation with higher third-grade reading scores and success in high school. The United Way of Southeast Louisiana also facilitates access to cultural education and life-skills workshops for at-risk youth.