Laura Bacon served as the Associate Director from February 2011 through June 2013. Before coming to ISS, Laura served as a White House Fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. During her graduate studies, Laura worked for Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development and Women’s Legislative Caucus as a Cultural Bridge Fellow and technical advisor. Laura’s interest in West Africa derives from her Peace Corps Volunteer experience in Niger (2002-2005), where she helped launch a community-run grain bank and served as the national coordinator of the Young Girls’ Scholarship Program. Laura served as a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, where she managed research projects and co-authored several works, including the National Leadership Index: A National Study of Confidence in Leadership and a chapter in Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change. Laura is currently working in London, where she serves as the Policy Principal of Investments at Omidyar Network, focusing on government transparency and accountability.