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Laura Benrey

MPP '20

Having fled Colombia in her teenage years, Laura Benrey is intimately familiar with the impact of conflict on migration and families. As an undergraduate student at the University of Cincinnati studying international affairs, Benrey studied and analyzed reintegration programs for child soldiers in Colombia. Benrey also completed an internship with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where she researched a State Department-funded Trafficking in Persons Report and worked on an anti-trafficking-in-persons database of organizations around the world. 

Following graduation, Benrey worked as a legal case worker with Kentucky Refugee Ministries, where she was responsible for helping refugees and asylum-seekers navigate the federal government’s evolving policy regarding refugee family reunification and contacting local representatives to advocate for the expedition of their cases in foreign US Embassies. 

As a student at Harris Public Policy, she co-edited a white paper for the Inter-Policy School Summit to be published by the Aspen Institute and worked as a teaching assistant for the course "International Environmental Policy." Along with Pearson Fellow Lauren Lochocki, she traveled to Malawi to conduct an impact evaluation study of an anti-child labor program in tobacco growing communities. In summer 2019 she served as a Fellow with the Cook County Government's Economic Development Bureau and interned with Innovations for Poverty Action.

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.