Laura is an expert in manufacturing and technology innovation, emerging markets, geopolitical risk, investment in Asia and Africa, economic policy, and inclusive economic development. She served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. In this role, Laura oversaw a broad portfolio of programs and trade policies aimed at increasing the international competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
Managing a team of over 50 international trade professionals, she was responsible for boosting U.S. exports of manufactured products and advancing trade policies that increase global opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. She previously served as the Senior Advisor for Policy and Operations at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation where she coordinated a $5 billion portfolio of investments in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Laura has also held positions at the World Bank as an advisor to the Vice President for Sustainable Development and Climate Change and as the first ever State Department diplomat in the office of the U.S. representative to the World Bank Board. Prior to her time at the World Bank, Laura was a career diplomat in the U.S. Department of State serving in Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, India, and Washington, DC as the desk officer for the Asian Development Bank. Originally from Chicago Heights, Illinois, Laura is a graduate of United World College-USA in Montezuma, NM. Laura was an intern for then-Congressional Representative Bill Richardson (D-NM) and Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) in Washington, DC. While in university, Laura continued her interest in international affairs and lived and worked in West Africa during her junior year. She was awarded the Boren Fellowship to study Wolof at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal and volunteered with Operation Crossroads Africa in rural environmental development projects in Burkina Faso.
In graduate school, Laura worked in sustainable agriculture in Niger. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Anthropology from Smith College, a Master in Public Affairs with a concentration in demography and international economic development from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and is completing a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and corporate strategy from the NYU Stern School of Business. She is a recipient of the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson School. Laura lives in Washington, DC and has lived and traveled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America.