Laura is Freedom House’s Senior Director for Strategy, Development and Learning. In this role she coordinates organizational strategy and learning, and oversees a portfolio of evidence-based programs that promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom globally. Previously she was a Democracy Fellow in the Learning Division of the Center of Excellence in Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center) at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Prior to that, Laura was in academia for fifteen years, most recently at Harvard University as Director of the Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus, Academic Advisor to the M.A. program in Russian, East European and Eurasian area studies, and a Lecturer in Sociology. Her areas of expertise include qualitative research and evaluation methods, authoritarianism, political transitions, civil society, and social movements. She has published numerous articles on culture and politics in Central Asia, as well as an award-winning book, The Spectacular State: Culture and National Identity in Uzbekistan.