Since joining Refugee Transitions in 2001, Laura has shown dynamic, visionary leadership through expanding the agency’s scope and power to transform lives. She has grown Refugee Transitions from a two-office, home-tutoring agency serving 200 newcomers in San Francisco to a multi-site agency with 2,500 students in San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties. To achieve this, Laura has focused our efforts on several priorities. Under Laura's leadership, Refugee Transitions forged strong partnerships with school districts, nonprofits, and city and county agencies throughout the Bay Area. She led the development of our state-of-the-art English language and family literacy programs that help newcomers attain the life, job, and academic skills they need to become productive U.S. citizens. She also spearheaded our work to recruit, train, support, and retain a large force of creative and dedicated volunteers.
Laura holds an undergraduate degree in international relations with minor degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Master's degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages from San Francisco State University. She has worked in education for over 21 years, and has taught English literacy and citizenship courses at City College of San Francisco as well as academic writing at San Francisco State University. Laura designs the Refugee Transitions' curriculum, oversees all programs, and develops trainings and presentations. She takes inspiration from the diverse communities in the Bay Area, and continues to learn so much from them.